I have an announcement to make: My son loves “My Little Pony”. He watches it religiously on Netflix. He loves ponies. He loves horses too. He loves all animals. That being said, I want to let the world know that I don’t have to defend my son’s love of a show, animals or magical creatures to you or anyone. You see, when he was born we promised to allow him the freedom to grow and discover new things. We said we would support him. We said we would encourage him. We said we would love him just the way he is. So, why does him loving “My Little Pony” bother some folks?
Case in point, last month, McDonald’s had “My Little Pony” toys as part of their happy meals. We stopped by McDonald’s on a Monday night after soccer practice and he asked for a nugget happy meal with milk. He wanted the nuggets in the purple package. What? He meant the mighty kids meal (6 piece nuggets). He then said, “Mommy, I want a pony.” I said, “Okay, love.” I went up to the register and told the cashier my order. When I said that I wanted the pony toy instead of the other toy, she replied loudly, “So, you want a girl’s toy while looking down at my son?” I replied firmly, “Yes”. She yelled to her runner (the person fixing my order), get the girl toy.
What kind of foolishness was this? Why did she have to get loud as though I didn’t understand my own request? Why would she think that I as his mother would not get him the toy he wants? I wasn’t embarrassed. I was angry. My son shouldn’t have to hear this foolishness. He’s impressionable. I never tell him what is a girl’s toy or what is a boy’s toy. He can play with whatever he likes. And he did. He was ecstatic to get the purple pony and happily sat down to eat his dinner and play with his pony. People stared. I stared back at them. My son was happy. I was frustrated and disgusted that people thought it weird that my son wanted a “girl toy” instead of the “boy toy”. If you know what the show is about, gender doesn’t really matter. Why can’t boys play with dolls or ponies? What is the big deal? Why can’t we view ponies as gender neutral? Aren’t there boy ponies?
So, I did some research and wanted to learn everything that I could about “My Little Pony”. After searching on the web I found some disturbing news regarding boys being bullied for liking “My Little Pony”. How could that be? Isn’t this a child like fantasy world where ponies are based on the six elements of harmony; loyalty, honesty, generosity, laughter, kindness and magic? Wow, they teach how to live harmoniously. They focus on friendship. Minus magic, I think I talk to Brennan everyday about these different elements as a basis of principles for how he should behave.
What is happening that where boys can’t like toys that are based on sound principles that are non-threatening and educational? Our society has to get better. Just this year, all kinds of stories about boys liking “My Little Pony”. Some were horror stories. Like this one little boy attempting suicide earlier this year. Can a boy like a show that is fun and encouraging without being bullied? Maybe not, after all this little boy was told by his school to ditch his “My Little Pony” book bag because it is a trigger for bullying. Really now?
I pray that my son will grow up knowing that he is loved and that it is okay for you to play with any and all toys. Toys don’t determine his sexuality. He can play with dolls, trucks, ponies or anything that is not dangerous and parent approved. His kindergarten teacher told me “I love the fact that Brennan has an imagination. So many children entering kindergarten having lost their innocence and Brennan is still pure and innocent.” I smiled and thanked her and ran to call his dad to share the praise.
My son has an imaginary friend and a love for the color purple. How can I tell him that there is no such thing as magic when I’m trying to teach him about faith. His imaginary friend plays with him, protects him and plays with him. I accept that. You see, I love him just they way he is and I refuse to stifle his spirit by pushing society’s pre-conceived notions of what my boy should play with on him. He is mine. He was divinely created, grown in a broken vessel and given to God. Let him keep his innocence.
FYI – This is Twilight Sparkle from “My Little Pony”. She represents the element of magic. This is the one he received in his happy meal.