Our whole family rocked the purple yesterday.
I thought about not saying anything about wearing purple, and the meaning behind it, to the kiddos. It's a big, sort of scary concept - a lot for smalls to take in. And though they'll find out about this big 'ole world soon enough, you don't want to, you know, rush it along. But my child is the child of queers. He will undoubtably know sooner than many kids that the world doesn't always (or often) appreciate difference. And while I don't believe it's right to fear-monger with kids (aka give too much information too soon), I also don't believe cocooning them and giving them the (false) impression that the world is always a safe, wonderful and just place for everyone is the way either. And it is incredibly important to us to raise him and Girlio in a way that really emphasizes the need to respect and value diversity.
So- how to talk about "Wear Purple Day" in a way that's meaningful and honest without giving out too much information for a not-quite-four-year-old?
I eventually decided on something along the lines of: "We are wearing purple today to remember some kids who people were really mean to because they were different. These kids really, really got their feelings hurt when people were mean to them. Wearing purple today helps us to remember them and to remember that being different is what makes us all special. And that it's never okay to be mean to someone just because they are different from us."
And I left it at that, and he tootled on to the very important business of playing before it was time to leave for school. I wondered how much of what I'd said he'd taken in, and what his mind would do with what I'd told him. I didn't have to wait too long to find out, though.
Upon arriving at school, Boy-o threw off his jacket and backpack in his cubby and launched himself at his teacher (whom he adores) so quickly and with such excitement that he was practically tripping over his words (and his feet!): "Today is PURPLE day! I'm purple today because everyone is different and we shouldn't be mean!" he shouted happily.
Bless his gigantic not-quite-four-year-old heart.