I Love my two sons. My Big Boy is a blessing to me everyday, and my Little Boy makes me laugh because he is so damned silly all the time. But that girl? Yeah, she has captured my very essence, my very Soul, and it is because I see so very much in her, so very much that I know our social mentality has already tried to steal away from her but that I will never allow to happen.
And my sons…oh, my sons…they are strong and mighty, like boys are meant to be, but they are also willing to listen to a girl, listen to her when she cries, when she is stomping and fighting mad, and they are chivalrous, the Big Boy far more than the Little Boy. None the less, I can sit here at this time, smile broadly even though I am the only one who knows that I am smiling, and know that thus far, I have been good to these children.
I am well aware of the fact that our kids are our mirror of us to the world, and I sit here proudly knowing that they have not made me look bad, have not done anything so terrible that we would never ever recover from it. I know that these kids are the way that they are because this is the way that they have been raised to this point and while it is that there are times when I want to shake them by the shoulders and tell them that they have, for that moment, made me the madwoman, over all, my children have done me very, very proud.
My Sons, Jeremy and Joshua, for all of their very “boyness” can be thought of as courteous, as boys who love their mama, and boys who any girl can take home to their own mothers and never worry that he is going to make that mother question what my boys are up to – I am confident of this. I know my sons. They are good boys. Yes, they do stupid things that make me question why they did not use their thinking skills when they could have and should have, but again, over all, I can only sit here smiling because I know that I have done well with them. I have raised, to this point, three kids, and four if you count my kid sister Napua, who have a damned clue, not only about life, but also and more, that you have to Be a Part of Life and in order to Be a Part of Life, you must not be apart from it. You must actively involve yourself with other people, because if you do not , you will live an existence which is frenetic and crazy at best, or lonely and suicidal, at worst.
Boys and Girls are different
Boys do not need to be told how to be boys, but we seem to feel like we need to direct our daughters to places that we never were able to reach, and we want to tell them how to do it, how to get there, who to talk to…as though they have no freaking clue of how to do this on their own. I mean, we are all blessed with an internal guidance system – all of us, including our kids. On the other side of that is the idea that just because they are boys they do not need our guidance. When I said that boys don’t need to be told how to be boys, it was meant as my saying that boys, in most cultures, have their path set out for them by a society which is still very patriarchal in nature. I know that to this point in their lives my sons will have a clue as to how to treat the women in their lives and it will come from the way that they see their sister interact with other boys as much, if not more, than they watch me interact with people from many different walks of life.
We expect our daughters to pop out of the chute, so to speak, just waiting to be idealized by some other mother’s son. We expect the world to be in Love with them as much as we are without thinking that the reason that we Love them so much is NOT because they are a little version of us as much as they are a vital piece of the Universe at large. It is wonderful when a little boy is born, but when a little girl is born it seems as though we can see in her the very facets which make up who we, their mothers, are, and we are not willing to not see her as being not a smaller semblance of who we are but worse than that, we see them as little tiny do-overs of ourselves. We cannot do this to our kids anymore. We have idealized them into a corner that a lot of us are too afraid to let them no longer be in, and it is not because of anything other than that we do not trust them to make the decisions that we want them to make which will please us. We want them to think like us and do like us all at the same time that we know that they need to be their own person. This was my reality, and it was a reality that only recently I was able to come to terms with and finally be rid of.
If there is one thing that was unspoken but very well learned by me, not only by the example set by my own mother, but also my father’s mother, it was that wives are to be second in place to their husbands. This goes against all that I know I am and all that I have always been, but this is what I was taught – that a boy would never love a strong girl because he is too scared to lose his masculinity to an ideal rather than find out all the things about me that made me who I was. The person I married clued in on this very early and used it to his own advantage. My watching my mother be so passive and her not telling me that not all women are passive but that she was is where the message in my upbringing as a child of my not voicing who I was and Am to this person I married came well into play. When I saw my mother not argue back with my father, I took it as her being obedient. In reality it was only that my mother is a passive person and that is just how she is. The same thing happened with my father’s mother, but it was with my grandfather, who was not very careful with how he treated her, and she took all of his emotional blows, took his barbs and took every single little spiteful thing that old codger gave her. She took it all. This is what I saw growing up, and this is what perplexed me and made me think that maybe what I had been through with my then caretaker and then the kids at school and then with the man who I married was all normal. Outwardly it was normal. Inside of me was a very different version of “normal.”
The examples we show our kids are the only ones they have, so when we do not bother to tell them that they are their own person we rob them of the right and the ability to choose what is right for them. I could never tell my parents what I recently told them about my caretaker, at least not when I was a kid, not even a big kid, because the lesson throughout my growing up was that it was okay to be who you are but you cannot stray outside of what is acceptable, not only to your parents, but to society as well. This takes away from our children the ability to really and truly know who they are. When we tell them without telling them that what their preferences are in regards to who they are do not measure up to our standard, our kids bristle and the fun part about that is that when a kid bristles, a kid does things that an adult cannot or will not. Kids fear us, no matter what, and it is not because of anything other than that, to them, we are the knowledge keepers of all that is right and real, even when they disagree. This is a universal truth and not one I made up.
If we cannot bother to tell them the things that they need to know because of some stupid thing we were forced to accept as our truth, then we should not have any children at all. It is one thing to raise a kid with our beliefs but it is quite another when through those beliefs we try harder to scare them into not changing their minds about what they choose to believe. It is no secret that I have told my children that it is up to them to believe the same way that I do in things Spiritual, and it is no secret that I have taught my children that a lie is a lie no matter if it is spoken or kept secret. It is no secret that I Love these kids well enough, deeply enough, with everything in me enough to never NOT tell them that they have their own truths to form, their own truths to live up to, their own Path to follow. I have done what I had to, to this point, not because I have some crazy vendetta against what I was told was the truth but more, because of what I was NOT told.
We can tell them anything we want to tell them, tell them that there is no Santa, is no Easter Bunny, is no Great Pumpkin, and they will not believe us because their little kid brain will not let them – these are entities which we told them for many years were real, even though we knew they were not. Why, then, would we expect them to not question and even doubt what we tell them when what it is that we tell them is the absolute truth?
We want them to follow what we believe in, but as we stand there and in their faces when they are little and tell them about a fat guy making it down the chimney after he has parked his eight flying reindeer on our roof, we think we are carrying on a childhood tradition but in reality we are leading them to the path of heart break because for all their little lives to that point, they hang on our every word!! When you take the example of our telling them about Santa Claus you can clearly see my point that what we say to them matters more than we think it does.
So, why, I must ask, are we so inclined to try to make it still seem as though our sons can deal with life because they are boys, but our daughters need to be tip-toe’d into the future, as though these little versions of their Mother’s Full Self somehow have no capacity for creating an Original Thought? Yes, we mothers do this to them, and I am not immune to the sin of seeing within my Gracie the things that I knew were in me when I was a young girl entering into high school. I am not immune to wanting to be there with her every step of the way, and I am not immune to embracing before it happens the very first time her first major crush disappoints her, and I am not immune to “gettin’ her back” when it seems that her friends have all abandoned her (No, not you, Jordy, and neither you, either, Nathalie…).
And more, I am not immune to being so empathic about my one and only daughter, Grace, so much so that I want to shield her from all the hurts that she hasn’t experienced yet. I see things from my perspective only, and because of this, I assume, wrongly, that my daughter cannot handle getting her heart broken, cannot handle getting her Self into a mess of teeny-bopper-with-rabies crap without also being able to get herself out of it. I do it a lot, without even thinking that thus far, with my own kids, and particularly, that one child – my only daughter, Gracie, I have done an incredible job.
I can pat myself on the back because this girl child knows how to stand up for herself, and I can smile widely knowing that on more than only one occasion, my “little girl” has done me proudly, has bared her girlie teeth and those proverbial girlie claws, and it was not ever for reasons that had nothing to do with her personally. Already I have been witness to this child giving a boy hell for starting to give her hell first, and already I have witnessed this child vehemently show her opposition to a person when said person was being so horribly creepy that the only way to make said creep stop his or her creepiness was to give them a ration of shit that could only come from a girl – from my girl… from my daughter, Gracie.
Raising Kick-Ass Daughters and Sons Who Do NOT Become Woman-Haters means that we have to let go of what we were taught…
…or at the very little least, have to update the things that we were taught by our parents. I cannot and will not go into anything that sounds like or mirrors words of man-hating harpies (goodness NO! I LOVE men…and the ones in my life who know me know this about me very well…or at least I believe they do). What I will say, though, is that there is absoluteness in the truths that we give to our kids as being THE Truth, and there is a sureness that comes with seeing the things that we have taught them in their little lives that prove to us that yes, we have started them out on the right path to their own lives, and look!!! She can stand up for herself!! Look! She has a backbone and LOOK!!! She is growing into a fine and wonderful young woman…yes, even with her lip piercings, even with her hair color going from black and purple to black and pink or black and blue on any given day.
More than that, through my telling Jeremy that it is not okay to hit other people, namely women, and through my showing Joshua that it is not okay to let the little girl across the street be mean to him or tell him things that make his little 8 year old heart crumble into a million sharply pointed pieces, my sons have learned well what is NOT okay to say, or to do or to be when in the company of girls and women. While my older son has a keen eye for beautiful girls, he has told me on many occasions that he cannot see girls as objects because he knows that it takes so little to make a girl hurt that he just cannot carry that on into the future with a girl or with anyone for that matter. He has, all on his own, chosen NOT to carry on the tradition of making women stand five paces behind him JUST because he was born with a penis. He knows that women hurt deeply when we hurt, namely when that hurt has been placed by someone who we Love. He knows that I am capable now to tell anyone, particularly a man – and any man, by the way – that I am hurt, that the action or inaction upset me enough to drive me to tears, and I am now able to just let it go. Through my kid, my oldest boy, I learned that it makes a man crazy to be left on my hook for too long so that I can feel better about what might be something that he could in no way ever begin to think would be something which would affect me to the point of tears.
My sons know that it is not okay to make a girl cry just because they can, and they know how to take care of a girl’s heart and emotions even as they are not yet fully grown men – these boys know through the example which I have given them, through my actions being the end result of my own words to them the thing which taught them the very most. I sit here confidently in the knowledge that at no time will I really need to worry about either of them carrying on the cycles of control that they have seen in the men from both their mother’s side of the family as well, if not more, as their father’s side.
Hey Mom! Just let go already !! Yeesh !
We have got to let go of the things that we considered the Truth and are the truths which applied to us when we were much younger, when we were children. I say this because when we begin to find out that many of the things that we were told as children are no longer applicable to who we are now we also begin to find out who we really are. Who we really are depends on us, not on the things which applied when we were children. We no longer fit into the same sized clothing that we did when we were in elementary school, and the same things that can applied to our clothing and how they fit or even if they still fit also applies to the things that we believe which no longer apply to our lives in the present.
It no longer fits my life that a woman is meant to be all she can be to a man, no way. I mean, yes, I can be all the woman I want to be to whoever it is that I care to be to those people, but my own truths always prevail, and if we would each, as parents, see to it that the kids we raise now become the adults who will carry on the traditions we create with these little people while they are in our care are not doormats, are not willing to do everything in their power to please one other person in their lives, we can also see to it that the changes which need to happen within society on its own happen, not to us, but for us.
If we would bother more to try getting these children of ours to just believe, through our actions toward them and on their behalf, if we would just not do what breaks their hearts and do what we know is best for them, no matter how much it hurts them right now while they are still clueless, we will, just by our very examples, be the change that we wish to see in the world.
If it is change that we want to exact we will exact it and it will not be through our own actions on behalf of our own Selves but rather and only through our example as lived into perpetuation by those people who call us “Mom” and “Dad”
I Love You All !!!