“ I do not want to go to the Pink Ribbon run with you!”, moaned one of my 7-year olds. “That is so silly.” It is not about the run as he is a good runner. He meant that pink is just for girls, uncool and downright plain stupid. After all, he saw from the posters that the runners were all wearing pink last year.
Okay, so he is at the age when gender issues are very important and his “boyness” shouldn’t be threatened. It didn’t help that his Dad had to cancel at the last minute due to work issues. “Ok, then I’ll go with your (twin) brother, you can stay at home, but you have to entertain yourself because Daddy has to work on his computer upstairs.” Daddy didn’t want this, of course, and finally managed to talk his son into going.
For adults, the significance of charity walks for breast cancer is quite easy to grasp. For girls, the pink color is so cute and the chance to meet Miss Switzerland at the run is absolutely fabulous. For boys, it is pure horror.
So I tried to explain. How Mommy’s friend has breast cancer and needs to find a cure. How the Swiss Cancer Foundation (Krebsliga) needs the money so they can do what they’ve done in their school last summer: go visit the local schools and distribute sun caps and talk to the kids about cancer prevention. “But we will be the only boys there!” “I don’t think so,” crossing my fingers behind my back. “Besides, you will know a lot of people there since we will be running with your English school team.”
Then we got to the stadium. They were at first overwhelmed by the crowd of women in pink. Then we saw one of their good friends from kindergarten with his mom. She, too, showed relief when she saw me with my boys. “See, I told you there will be other boys and look who’s here,” she said to him.
From then on, it got better. We saw a couple of teachers from their kindergarten, one of them a man. We met another boy and his little brother from their once-a-week English classes. They played football with a dad and his son while waiting for the run to start. Then it was time for the run. We jogged the 2.5 km all the way and were among the first at the finish. They got their promised ice cream afterwards. And they loved their give-away bags.
“That was so cool, Mom.” Finally! Ok, so they refused to wear the pink T-shirts. That was fine. I’ll have presents for grandma and auntie. But at least they found out that pink is not only for girls and that a Pink Ribbon Run can actually be cool.
I don’t think I will have problems convincing them to run with me next year.
- 6 to 18 years old: 96
- 19 to 45 years old: 545
- 46 and older: 160 Total participants – 801