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