It’s almost ridiculous really that this is something that comes up so often in our everyday life. The division, the separation of what is acceptable for each gender is really baffling to me. It seems to include everything from what is appropriate for little girls and little boys to what is appropriate for grown moms and dads. And I’m just going to put this out there as well, skipping my usual overly thought out soliloquy to just state hopefully the obvious, if we cannot teach our children to see and accept everything as a possibility, then how can we get to a place of peace in this world.
When I found out I was having a girl, my heart sank just a little bit. I thought about how she would have to face certain obstacles in this world. I was also concerned because simply put, I don’t do girly. I mean ok I did have Barbies growing up and I do still paint my nails and get my hair done on occasion but really, I’m not a girlie girl, if that is even really a thing. I pretty much loath dresses and shoes and make-up and pink. How was I going to relate to someone who did? I guess I should have known better really. Emma is a very well rounded person. She loves cars, dinosaurs, and yes, even princesses. I pretty much fell to the floor the other day when she said not once, but TWICE, “I’m a princess!” And there I found myself spiraling down the sparkly pink rabbit hole of jewels and fluffy dresses, collapsing into society's definition of what women "should" be. But I'm realizing that we don't all think that way and that's a good thing.
When we were visiting Emma’s cousin for a “sleepover,” Emma was relctant to put on a princess dress. I’m not sure if she was blinded by the glitter or what but she didn’t seem to be too into it (which was FINE by me!) To jump ahead to last weekend, we were at the baby store in anticipation of Emma’s cousin arriving any day and low and behold I look over my shoulder to see Emma jumping into the RACE CAR bed! Not the Hello Kitty bed, not the Minnie Mouse bed, the RACE CAR bed! She thought it was the best thing EVER! And, as we were exiting the store, I was so excited to see a little boy, around Emma’s age, carrying a Frozen purse! Shizah there is progress!
So if we cannot bring our children to turn a blind eye to being judged and accepting and loving themselves for who they are, then how can they accept and love others. It’s that simple. I truly believe that by teaching Emma to love what she loves and respect what other people love that it will create a place in her heart for tolerance and understanding of others.
I will most certainly let my kid hang out in the car bed at the store and I am happy to see a little boy with a Frozen purse (a fellow fan!) I will be glad when someone else shares their culture with us and lets us share ours with them.What I am trying to say is that we have a wonderful opportunity to shape the next generation, to teach them to smash gender boundaries and tolerate nothing less than acceptance for any race/religion/ ethnicity! And I am excited for the possibilities!
Emma excitedly checking out the large excavator while walking her baby.