Just a Boy and His Pink Rainbows

Meet Alex.  He’s my middle child and a true joy.  He loves cooking, creating art projects and anything that has to do with rainbows.  His favorite color is pink and he stands by it with fervor.  I love everything about his gentle nature which is why my heart about broke when he had his first run in at school with a herd of children telling him that boys weren’t supposed to have pink lunch boxes and they certainly shouldn’t be paying attention to rainbows.

A couple of Alex’s favorite pink possessions

As he painstakingly recalled back to me what had happened that day, I could see the crushed look in his eyes and it made me frustrated and sad.   Thoughts flitted through my mind in defense of my son.  “Who determined pink to be the official color of girls anyway?”  “What could have been the motive for those kids to want to bring down a fellow friend?”  “Why are we all so scared of people that are different from us?”


It never ceases to amaze me how, even as adults we can say we’re striving for tolerance and acceptance in one breath and then just as quickly turn around and mock someone for being different in the next.  We are all guilty of doing it at one time or another.  Maybe we did it to feel better about ourselves.  Perhaps we were sensing the peer pressure of going with the crowd, afraid of where it might leave us if we took the higher road or maybe, we simply couldn’t accept the fact that someone carried a different view from that of our own.  Whatever the reason, it’s always a good reminder to think of  how we would feel if the roles were reversed.  Such a simple and complex concept all rolled into one.

I gave Alex a big mama bear hug, told him there was absolutely nothing wrong with his love of the color pink and that our differences are exactly what make each and every one of us special.  I let him know that he should embrace the things that make him happy, even if they’re different from the norm and people will love him all the more for it.   I think he took it to heart, because for his birthday party this past Sunday,  he asked me to help celebrate the occasion with a rainbow cake.

He even asked me to add in a pink layer… for extra flavor of course.  We baked, layered and frosted with Alex helping out every step of the way.  When the cake was completed, we took a step back and reveled in our handy work.

The Finished Cake

I have never seen a little boy quite as happy as when we cut into that cake.  He could hardly wait to share “the surprise” with all his friends at the party.  There were many guesses as to what could possibly be awaiting the party goers once the cake was sliced.  One little boy guessed chocolate chips and another guessed a marble cake.

When the slices were finally handed out, everyone oohed and ahhed at Alex’s culinary creation and not a single negative mention was made of rainbows or pink.

I’m proud of my young man for standing up for what he loves.  Too often kids (and adults) are made to feel unloved, unwanted or uncool because they don’t fit in with the norm.  But if we all dressed the same, had the same likes and listened to the same life tune, the world would be a much less interesting place to live.

So I say, open your mind, grab yourself a slice of rainbow cake and revel in your own unique beauty.

 

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67 Responses to “Just a Boy and His Pink Rainbows”

  1. 1

    Laurie @ Gallamore West — February 6, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!! I too have a little guy who LOVES the color pink! And what a gift you have at writing, and rainbow cake baking :) Alex is one lucky guy to have such a talented and loving Mama! That picture of him smiling while looking at those candles on his cake is precious.
    xo,
    Laurie @ Gallamore West

  2. 2

    anne Alesauskas — February 6, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    Beautifully said my friend!

  3. 3

    Bridget — February 6, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    I love this story. I love your son. I love his strength of character. And I love that he has such a supportive mama. Give him an extra bear hug from me, any time he needs one. ;-)
    -Cheers, Bridget

  4. 4

    Kathy - Panini Happy — February 6, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    What a lovely post written by an incredible mom. :-)

  5. 5

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — February 6, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

    AMEN, girl!! I love this post and can’t wait to share it with my students.

    Alex, you keep right on loving every color of the rainbow (and especially pink!) :)

  6. 6

    Shelly — February 6, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

    God bless him, and you too.

  7. 7

    Kim — February 6, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    Amen! I really enjoyed reading this post, even though it upsets me to know that your son was hurt by his friends. My favorite kind of people are the ones who are not afraid to be unique. We should all be proud to stand out and be our own person:)

    Your son is a doll!

  8. 8

    Laurie — February 6, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Your pink and rainbow loving boy is lucky to has such an understanding, open and loving mom like you.

  9. 9

    Susan @ SwoonMySpoon — February 7, 2012 @ 12:20 am

    Sweet precious boy! Pink is a beautiful color and the fact that he can see this just shows how sophisticated his tastes are for such and little guy. Follow your bliss, Alex!

  10. 10

    Odette — February 7, 2012 @ 1:40 am

    Bravo! Wonderful story. Beautiful cake. Best wishes to Alex…his smile is priceless.

  11. 11

    Katerina — February 7, 2012 @ 5:49 am

    Julie dear, different is always scary. For all the reasons you have mentioned plus the fact that we don’t know how to deal with it. Especially children, who always express exactly what they feel with no restrains, are even more cruel, not understanding it of course. My child is very gentle and does not want to kick and beat in school, while all boys in his class do exactly this. For this reason they call him nerd and leave him out of their playing. I am trying to show him that if he feels happy with himself this is ok. Life is hard and cruel and unjust and our children unfortunately start to realize it from this early age. But you made such a beautiful cake to sweeten his broken heart, that I am sure he forgot all about this unfortunate incident. My best wishes to your boy!

  12. 12

    Sorta Southern Single Mom — February 7, 2012 @ 6:24 am

    You go Mama! Way to turn heartbreak into something special!

  13. 13

    Reckless Housewife — February 7, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Pink is the new black. It goes with everything, especially Alex. The picture of him blowing out his candles is precious. I’m glad he has a special mama to help him through life’s bumps.

  14. 14

    Jenna — February 7, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    Oh! This post touched my heart. I’m sure it’s hard for you as a mama to see him be in such a vulnerable position, and I’m glad you’re encouraging him to hold on to what he loves even when it’s not the popular option.

  15. 15

    Rita — February 7, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    What a fantastic mother you are; he is so lucky to have you. I raised 4 boys and not one is the same, even now that they are adults and that is why we love them so.
    Alex is adorable and what a beautiful cake; you are one special lady Julie. That is why I love to come and visit you.
    Happy Birthday to Alex and a warm Hug to both of you.
    Rita

  16. 16

    MommyCribNotes.com — February 7, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    Your little boy is soooooooo adorable! And that cake looks A-MAZING!

  17. 17

    Carol — February 7, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    Hooray for Alex! Your story spoke straight to my heart. My 8-year old son is a pink loving kid and we had the same discussion about why colors have to have genders assigned to them. He also loves the Rainbow Magic fairy series of books (it’s an obsession) and he made a comment just last week that he hopes he has the same kids in his class next year as this year because everyone this year knows he loves fairies and they don’t tease him for it but he’s worried that a new group of kids next year won’t be as kind. Broke my heart! The tooth fairy visited him last night and he was so incredibly excited that the tooth fairy printed his favorite fairy on a dollar bill and sprinkled it with glitter. He even brought it for show and tell today. I know it’s going to get harder as he gets older but I couldn’t be more proud of him for sticking to his convictions and not letting anyone make him feel like he shouldn’t like what he likes!! You’re an amazing Momma – keep doing what you’re doing!!

  18. 18

    Phyllis — February 7, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    Just today my three year old grandson expressed to me that he wanted me to get him a blue car with pink sparkles on the top! And, of course, I told him that when he got old enough we would make that happen! Thank you for sharing…the cake was wonderful!

  19. 19

    Laura in Cancun — February 7, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    In Mexico, pink is for everyone! My husband has a few pink shirts (tees and dress shirts), and he looks amazing in them. I remember my dad also had a few pale pink dress shirts when I was growing up. They look fabulous with a tan.

    I think real men wear pink. More power to Alex :)

    I really want a rainbow cake, now… so cool!

  20. 20

    Rach — February 7, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    I love that you did this for your son. You are a good mom.

  21. 21

    Erin — February 7, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    I think this is so inspirational! :) We read this blog post in Language Arts today and I about cried;(. So, tomorrow we are taking a stand! The whole seventh grade are color swapping. This means boys wear more feminine colors (pink, purple) and girls wear more “masculine” colors (black, brown, blue, green). What you did for Alex was soo uplifting. You are a GREAT mother to Alex and his other siblings!
    -Erin

  22. 22

    Kate — February 7, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    Beautiful cake for a beautiful boy. I love Alex, he’s a joy to be around. He’s lucky to have you.

  23. 23

    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — February 7, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    Julie!!! You made me cry! I love your approach, and I know this had to be the best birthday cake ever. You go mommie!

  24. 24

    beti — February 8, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    he is really cute and so lucky!! that cake looks divine and I bet that he was really happy with it

  25. 25

    Red Velvet Cheesecake-Stuffed Cake Balls > Willow Bird Baking — February 8, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    [...] Alex‘s answer is pink. He’s the son of fellow Charlotte food blogger Julie of Mommie Cooks, and he just celebrated his 6th birthday in style with a gorgeous rainbow cake. Things haven’t all been rainbows lately, though, because Alex was recently informed by some kids at school that boys aren’t supposed to wear pink. [...]

  26. 26

    Sanjeeta kk — February 8, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    You are the best mommie I could say..love how you tackled this sensitive issue your son faced in his school. And yes peer pressure is what makes them more vulnerable to such insane choices in life..such as ‘Pink’ is for girls…Love and hugs to your son and many more happy returns of the day.

  27. 27

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — February 8, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    Here’s my 7th graders’ message to Alex, Julie! They were inspired :)

    http://willowbirdbaking.com/2012/02/09/red-velvet-cheesecake-stuffed-cake-balls/

  28. 28

    A_Boleyn — February 9, 2012 @ 12:49 am

    Cheers for Alex and the colour pink. I hope he always speaks up for what he loves regardless of what anyone else thinks. I wish I could shared a slice of that wonderful rainbow cake with him and his friends.

  29. 29

    Dina — February 9, 2012 @ 3:12 am

    Driveby from Pinterest – not only are you a great mom, but you are a way better baker than I am! No way could I make a multi-layered cake look that good! ;)

  30. 30

    LisaDay — February 9, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    Wow, Impressive cake. My guy told me his little friend told him boys can’t like purple, his second favourite colour next to green. I asked him if he was a boy. He said yes. I asked if he liked purple. He said yes. So I said it was a boy colour and he could like it if he wanted.

    Happy Birthday to Alex. I hope he continues to stand up for what he believes.

    I blogged about your granola cups today. Yummy, by the way. As were the Dutch pancakes.

    LisaDay

  31. 31

    Beth — February 9, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    I loved your story of Alex and his rainbow cake. It’s hard to believe that pressure to conform starts so young, isn’t it? What an amazing kid he is to fight against that pressure and go with what he really loves. Happy birthday, Alex!

  32. 32

    5 Star Foodie — February 9, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    Happy birthday to Alex, he’s adorable, and the rainbow cake is awesome, such amazing bright colors!

  33. 33

    Lori — February 9, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    I love this story, my Tristan was the same way. For Christmas one year, he asked for a pink fleece hat with “Real Mean Wear Pink” embroidered on it. Of course, he got his wish :)

    Now that he’s 13, he’s found himself enamored with My Little Pony (I think mostly for the irony behind it) and proudly wears many MLP tee shirts. He is who he is and will not waver from it. I love a kid with strength of character!

  34. 34

    grace — February 9, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    i’m so impressed, julie! i feel like i need to start taking parenting notes from you. :)

  35. 35

    Juliana — February 9, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    Julie, what a lovely post…I love the story of your son Alex and the pretty rainbow cake…
    It is so unfortunate that society place certain “rules” and “labels”, I love that he stands for what he loves regardless of others opinion and that you are 100% behind him.
    Happy Birthday Alex :)

  36. 36

    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — February 9, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    This post is an eye-opener. You both are lucky to have each other. Great mommie and adorable son :)

    I want to face-plant into that cake. Seriously :D

    Happy Birthday sweetie, and loads of hugs! xoxo

  37. 37

    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — February 9, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

    I love this post, and that cake is beautiful! Pink is a great color. Why wouldn’t someone like it, no matter what gender they are??

  38. 38

    Hearty Lentils and Beans | Mommie Cooks! — February 10, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    [...] a heart felt thank you for all the incredible comments and emails that people sent with regards to Alex.  The fact that you took the time to share your experiences, support and love really touched my [...]

  39. 39

    Melissa Rheinlander — February 10, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    I don’t know how I missed this post… But wanted to send you and Alex both a big {{HUG}} Gender specific stuff for kids is ridiculous! My Alex (A girl) LOVES Cars, trucks, dinosaur stuff and is a rough and tough little girl!! I would not trade her for anything!! Your Alex will be a fine young man because he has an awesome MOM!! (and Dad too)!!

  40. 40

    Cara — February 10, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    I’m so glad he got pink in his cake! He has an awesome mom and dad for letting him know that PINK is for everyone!

  41. 41

    Deanna — February 11, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    What a great story. I might have cried but there is no one around to confirm that. He’s very lucky.

  42. 42

    Ameena — February 11, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    I bought my husband a pink shirt and he secretly loves it. I think many men really do like (and can carry off pink) and kudos to your son for knowing what he likes.

  43. 43

    Megan — February 11, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    That is one of the coolest cakes I have ever seen. I totally want one of those for my next birthday and kudos to your boy for standing up for the color pink. It truly is a fantastic color.

  44. 44

    Diane — February 11, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes – not the part where kids were mean to Alex, but the part where you supported him and let him know that he is loved for being himself. Happy birthday to Alex. That is an amazing cake for one amazing kid.

  45. 45

    Mari — February 11, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

    Well said! Colors are made for ALL of us to love! This is a beautiful cake, and I am sure it tastes like the best in the world because it was made with love! This is my oldest favorite cake too! Happy belated birthday Alex!

  46. 46

    Sarah — February 12, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

    Pink used to be for boys (a strong, bold color!) whereas baby blue was for girls (so soft and delicate). Somewhere around 1940s it changed. He’s a trendsetter :)

  47. 47

    Jennifer — February 12, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    You GO, Alex!!! A sweet heart and a loving spirit are FAR more important than what your favorite color is, or whether or not you like rainbows. We could use all the gentle, loving, creative kids we can find in this world – there’s enough anger and hardness to go around.

  48. 48

    Julia — February 12, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

    What a fabulous cake and what a fabulous example of a loving mom you are! Oh, and your son is fabulously cute, too :) Bravo!!

  49. 49

    Fran — February 12, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    Alex is beautiful and this story is as well. Thanks for sharing!

  50. 50

    Jenny — February 13, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    AMEN! I hope someday when I am lucky enough to become a mother I can be as great a champion of my children as you are here.

  51. 51

    Jenny — February 13, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    AMEN! Some day, when I am lucky enough to have children of my own, I hope I can be as great a champion for them as you were here. Brava.

  52. 52

    Katie — February 13, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    That is so adorable. I love that you encourage your son to be who he is. He sounds like a great kid. :)
    As for the rainbow cake…It’s amazing! I may have to (attempt to) replicate it sometime.

  53. 53

    Jen-Eighty MPH Mom — February 15, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

    What a beautiful cake, and what a sweet little guy you have! I think he should be able to like whatever color(s) he likes!

  54. 54

    Beth — February 20, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    I think this cake and your son’s story is awesome. Children learn from adults. Its sad that there is such cruelty in our world. My brother was one that too was different and struggled with the same things. Great that Alex has such a good momma to support him!!

  55. 55

    Sarah J — February 22, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    Oh how perfect! I loved this, just like everyone else :)

  56. 56

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — February 23, 2012 @ 6:02 am

    Who decided what colors were for girls and boys anyhow? It’s a shame how society makes our kids feel bad for making uncommon choices. Good for you both for bucking those outdated ideas.

  57. 57

    Skye — February 29, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    I am the mother of a four year old boy who loves sports, robots, action figures… and sparkly rhinestones and butterfly barrettes too (they’re pretty and keep his bands out of his eyes :). He got a comment at school, so thank you for your post, it was very much appreciated by this mama.

  58. 58

    Georgia — March 14, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    How fun to make a rainbow cake in a shape other than round! What size is this cake? It looks like you used jelly roll pans. Did you make it with two recipes/boxes of cake mix?

    Looking at the side shot, it’s neat how you piled up the “gold” on the pot.

  59. 59

    Katie — March 20, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    Your precious story made me tear up. Of course colors don’t have gender! Your cake is really awesome too!

  60. 60

    Sharon — May 29, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    Just came across your site (great recipes!) but just had to give a show of support for this loving post, your handsome boy and you, the loving mama. It truly made my heart feel full. What a lucky boy, and what a lucky family to have the welcome addition of pink into your home. Sending you warm thoughts.

  61. 61

    Justine — November 5, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

    I came across your site because I saw the picture of your cake on Pinterest. I have a almost four year old boy who would love this cake! He adores rainbows, sparkles, and most of all pink. In a world where people tell you it is not okay to be different, it is a very welcome surprise to come across this post! Thank you so much for writing this.

  62. 62

    Neapolitan Birthday Cake | Mommie Cooks! — February 12, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

    [...] and rainbows.  I wasn’t about to repeat the epic baking adventure that was the rainbow cake last year, so I took it down a notch and created “the rainbow cake” instead.  A much tamer but [...]

  63. 63

    Regnbogakaka | Töddi brasar — June 26, 2013 @ 9:02 am

    [...] rainbow layer cake. [...]

  64. 64

    iona — March 22, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

    My son is 16 and loves purple.
    He doesn’t care what others think about it,
    he just says his favourite colour is purple

  65. 65

    Miss Overballe — March 22, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

    Touching story and beautiful cake!

  66. 66

    Karen Sherod — March 22, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    One year I was looking for a pink shirt with a collar to go under a sweater and could not find one until I went to the men’s department. So tell your son that men wear pink.

  67. 67

    cli.gs — July 19, 2014 @ 11:25 am

    I know this website offers quality dependent posts and additional material, is there any other website which presents these
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