My son made his world debut twenty-three years ago via triple E-section. (I had morphed during pregnancy from a petite, one-hundred-pound woman to a 150-pound inflatable of myself.) Shortly after our son’s birth, his dad and I learned that our boy would most likely be blind or partially blind in his right eye. The specialist was correct, but what none of us could have known back then was that his left eye, the “good” one, was going to be an eye for fashion.
Even before the creation of his dress-up box, Harry was aware of styles, shoes, and accessories. Our first clue was at age two when he asked Grandpa Dick and Grandma Karen if they knew the difference between men and women. Karen winked at me, amused.
“No,” she answered. “Tell us, what is the difference?”
“Well, yes, I guess that is a difference,” Karen conceded.
A few months later, Harry was waiting for me at the door when I arrived home from work.
“Hi, honey,” I said.
“You don’t have any dresses!” he accused.
His nanny informed me that Harry had wanted to look in my closet that day. The truth was, my pint-sized fashion police had nailed it. I wore skirt suits or dress pants to work and jeans at home. I turned back to the little detective.
“I have a purple dress. Did you see that?”
He shook his head. “You need more dresses, Momma.”
The following year, Harry sat in his stroller and watched me browse through a sale rack of tops and sweaters. When I came to a white cotton sweater decorated with gold studs and stars, Harry said, “Grandma Karen should buy this.” I thought it was cute that Harry knew her preference for bling-laden clothing, so I told Karen the story. The next time Grandma Karen came to visit, she was wearing the sweater Harry had picked out for her.
Today my son has more shoes, more earrings, and more dresses than I do. And certainly more gowns than I’d ever have occasion to wear. If he’s not shooting photography, video or writing, he’s performing as the drag artist he was born to be. And now when he uses his critical eye, it’s often times bejeweled.