Motherhood offers the opportunity to view and revisit many firsts. First steps, first words, first family trips, you know what I’m saying. Today, we came across another one. One I anticipated coming for a while, saw things gearing up to the event, and then at last, it happened.
Today while picking strawberries, which by the way was so chaotic I took not one single picture of the days events, another child insisted my son was a girl. In no way do I feel that this should be something to be offended by, nor did I see any sign of hurt on my sweet long-haired, rainbow toe nail painted, magical key necklace wearing little guy. He simply looked up in confusion and said point blank, “I am miles. A he.” And that was that. But it made me start to think a little bit.
My boys are encouraged to play house and dress up as much as they are to driving trucks and digging trenches but the truth is they almost always lean towards the ladder. This is fine with me, and has given me a good old-fashioned lesson about nature vs. nurture. I enjoy giving them the option of being comfortable playing any game or enjoying any activity, limiting them only as far as our imaginations do. But I also take pride in giving them little pushes to encourage any nurturing instincts through pretend and stories and simple discussions. And so far, it has worked out just fine.
Of course I worry that one day his feelings will be hurt by an assumption, but I can only hope that he has stored up enough confidence to realize that indeed he doesn’t fit the mold. At least not the mold set in front of him. Maybe I believe we should build our own molds of values and truths, style and grace, attitude and opinion; ones that we stand firmly by (for the moment at least), and do all we can to squish and bend slide ourselves into that one. It seems like a more pleasant alternative at least, rather than constantly trying to size yourself up to the standard (which quite honestly would be boring anyways).
But the truth is, minus the deep seated fear of ever trimming a single hair on his mane, and the plethora of necklaces that he rotates through on a daily basis (an amulet, a magic key, a wooden coin, a rainbow knot), he is what I would describe as a truck loving, motorcycle obsessed, fort building, worker man anyways. But I suppose I am contradicting myself all together now. It all just boils down to knowing there is no limit or constraint (be it by gender or anything else) that one should abide by. You are just you. Plain and simple.
I mean look at that beautiful head of hair. If it was on your head would you want to cut it? I would think not.
What do you think? Is your little lady a princess loving gal regardless of your thoughts? Does your boy feel inclined towards race cars despite your efforts to stay away from the hype? Have you found a nice balance between the two? Or do you think I am over thinking the whole thing all together?!