Everything Possible

Gender Neutral Lullaby Parenting

There is a song I sing to my son that I’d like to share with you (see below).  It relates to Nested Fox in that it is a bit of a further description of our gender neutral take on producing baby and kids products.  You see my Dad read the lyrics to this song at both of his parents’ funerals.  Not because the words describe the kind of parents they were – in reality they were closer to the opposite – but because they described the kind of parent he wished he had had, so in a way he was rewriting history for himself.  My Father was gay at a time when it wasn’t very easy to own that.  He married my mother and had kids – and he loved us dearly – but he went through a lot of denial in the process.  He emerged the other side a gay rights activist fighting for equal rights in the workplace.  He died himself nearly three years ago, far too young, and this song is something I have left of him to help guide my parenting to make sure that my son doesn’t ever feel the weight of my expectations on him, even if I can’t control what expectations he might have thrust upon him by the rest of the world. 

As subtle and harmless as it sometimes seems, I do believe that traditional boy/girl colour and interest dichotomies (tractors vs butterflies) in kids’ products be they clothes, home décor or toys are the start of these expectations seeping into the subconscious.  Expectations that determine not only who we think we should love and what we think we should do with our time and labour but what we should feel.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against tractors or butterflies, I just don’t think they should be restricted to the boys and girls sections of a shop.  That is why we’ve taken the focus we have with our range of products.  There is nothing we sell that we don’t think is equally suitable for a boy or a girl, even if someone else might look at our products and think differently.

The song below also chimes with a rather more light-hearted theory I have about the world of work in the future.  I believe while in the past parents might have felt they were on solid ground by pushing their children towards ‘sensible’ careers to give them security, that today with the growth of automation, the ‘sensible’ careers are in the creative industries – those jobs where the human element is the key and can’t be replaced by a robot.  Now my theory may be a generation or two early and my son may turn around and say its geometry that floats his boat not painting, but either way I hope I can be as supportive and encouraging as this song urges me to be.

The Lyrics are below and as well as a youtube video for the tune - sorry for the graphic on the video - it was the best version of the song I could find but the video isn't much to look at!  And I'm not trying to sell his track on Itunes either:)

x Kristen

Everything Possible

Fred Small

We have cleared off the table, the leftovers saved,
Washed the dishes and put them away
I have told you a story and tucked you in tight
At the end of your knockabout day
As the moon sets its sails to carry you to sleep
Over the midnight sea
I will sing you a song no one sang to me
May it keep you good company.

You can be anybody you want to be,
You can love whomever you will
You can travel any country where your heart leads
And know I will love you still
You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around,
You can choose one special one
And the only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you're done.

There are girls who grow up strong and bold
There are boys quiet and kind
Some race on ahead, some follow behind
Some go in their own way and time
Some women love women, some men love men
Some raise children, some never do
You can dream all the day never reaching the end
Of everything possible for you.

Don't be rattled by names, by taunts, by games
But seek out spirits true
If you give your friends the best part of yourself
They will give the same back to you.

You can be anybody you want to be,
You can love whomever you will
You can travel any country where your heart leads
And know I will love you still
You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around,
You can choose one special one
And the only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you're done.

Songwriters: Fred Small

Everything Possible lyrics © Frederick E. Small D/B/A Pine Barrens Music


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