Mom Crystal Kells says her son Cian asked to try on one of her dresses when he was only 4 years old.

All photos by Kells' Natural Photography, used with permission

Cian loved it so much, he soon started begging her for a dress of his own.


From there, it simply turned into something her now 5-year-old son liked to do: Wear dresses.

"I was a little worried about him getting teased," Kells said in a message, "but quickly realized that Cian was going to base how he should react from me. So, I made sure I was confident and indifferent about it."

When Kells, a photographer, started snapping photos of Cian in his favorite dresses, the internet fell in love.

And why wouldn't they? The pictures are breathtaking.

At first, she only shared the photos on her Facebook and Instagram pages, where the response was small but supportive.

This past week, though, she wrote a powerful column explaining her decision to let Cian wear what he wants and to show her beautiful son off to the world.

"This is my son Cian and he loves to wear dresses," she wrote. "We’ve never taught it to him 'This is for girls and this is for boys' and we never will."

As far as she knows, Cian isn't gay, queer, or transgender. He just sees beyond what society says is "OK" for boys to do and wear.

She also wrote that she and Cian's father will support Cian however his gender manifests itself down the road:

"The most important thing to us is the health and happiness of our son."

"I want my son to grow up knowing he has a voice," she wrote. "Grow up knowing he can do and be anything he wants to be in this world."

The boost in exposure brought with it some extra criticism, Kells says. But for every critic, she gets an email from a parent who's going through something similar with their own child.

The support has been pouring into her inbox since the photos went viral, with a heartwarmingly large amount of people seeing something more than just a boy in a dress:

They see a happy kid.

For now, that's enough. She can't predict how Cian will choose to express himself weeks from now, let alone years. She has no idea if he'll continue to wear dresses as he gets older.

She hopes they'll be able to raise him not to regret the choices that brought him genuine joy.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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