Our six-year-old son Jonah likes to have his toenails painted. Who wouldn’t, really? It’s downright delightful to express yourself with color and sparkle and to receive a few precious minutes of creative, quiet and undivided attention from Mom or Dad. Why should his younger sister have all the fun?
But here’s the thing: Jonah’s friends at school have made it abundantly clear that when it comes to toenails, seafoam green and Superman red aren’t acceptable for a six-year-old boy. So when he wants to sport those colors, Jonah has taken to doing so under cover of socks and shoes, using them as an armor-like protection against cultural forces much larger and more formidable than his four-foot frame can handle.