I read this article today: http://www.today.com/moms/8-year-old-gets-sexist-book-removed-bookstore-8C11327618
It really got me to thinking. When I was eight years old I was just like this little girl. I was an avid reader (those pizza hut reader cards helped motivate a growing obsession I had with books) and I did not tend to like the A-typical “girly” things. But then again my mum was not the A-typical woman either.
Sure like every little girl I used to watch my mum get dressed up when she would go out. I was always struck with a sense of wonder as she donned beautiful jewelry and high heels. However, this was the same mum who after getting the family all dressed up for Sundays at church would then turn around when we got home and put on jeans and a t-shirt. She taught me about cars and sports. She let me climb trees and the came after me when I climbed to high and couldn’t get down. Growing up with all male cousins I was always one of the boys and my mum was never bothered by that. I wore baggie shirts and no one besides my mum cut my hair. I loved to camp, hike, play hockey and torment my babysitters* (all male I might add).
Now, I’m not saying that books of this nature should not be written; I’m just saying that I can’t see the benefits of separating these survival examples in what’s okay for a girl and what’s ok for a boy. Every child could benefit from knowing how to be a good babysitter (I believe that it teaches patience and understanding other family dynamics) and while I’m personally petrified of sharks it would be nice to know how to survive a shark attack. Why must we split these things into categories? Life is not simple; it is complicated and it’s in those complexities that we find adventure. Column A and Column B are not slots that we fit into at birth. Kids have that way of looking at life where they understand that. They do not see the world the same way adults do and they question everything. (Ask any parent about the ‘why?’ stage)
Why is it that we as adults, we stop asking why and follow the current? Some of the best moments of my life (so far) was when I was the exact opposite of what everyone expected of me.
*Side note: I should apologize to my babysitters (brothers: Matt & Adam; Brandon) for I made them work very hard for their money. Not content to play girly games or watch a movie; I made them play ‘mother may I?’, ‘red light, green light,’ ‘basketball’, etc. I also performed the ceremony for one of them to ‘marry’ my sister. If they ever read this I am truly sorry for what I put you guys through. On the bright side I’m sure your children can’t really surprise you with anything now.*