When I started on the journey of Motherhood, I never thought I would have to think about identity and culture clashes. I mean, what is the big deal, you create roots, you raise a child, it is all good, right?
Wrong, I totally forgot about school and playground politics. I just want to hide while dropping off my child, I really don’t love it. I can deal with hardcore politics, I just can’t deal with the insanity that is Moms. I sincerely don’t get it.
Over the past year, I have watched some Mother’s gush about their 7-year-old son’s having “girlfriends”. I ignored it. I didn’t really understand what was cute about it. Then the one Mother came up to me and gushed that her daughter is getting gifts from her little boyfriend, and then went on about which boy and girl are paired up together, it was a lengthy discussion I couldn’t get out of. It went on, the girls having backup boyfriends and having lists of boys they like. I smiled politely, and attempted to walk away. She then said “My daughter told me that your son is too silly to have a girlfriend.” I turned, smiled and said “good”, and walked away.
The conversation made me totally uncomfortable, in a way I couldn’t articulate at first.
I wanted to be snarky, to say something smart and rude, instead, I said nothing, but I came home and thought about those words. The words didn’t hurt me, I don’t care if my son is too silly. I think it is awesome that he is being who he is, and is expressing himself the way he wants, he is a kid, I want him to be a kid. What hurt, was having a Mother thinking it was a worry, and giving me a worried look, like oh, it will be o.k that he isn’t paired up. That look of feeling sorry for me, like somehow I have to work on my child’s silliness to get a girlfriend. The thing is, I don’t care about that stuff, we don’t use labels in our house, for one reason. I don’t want my son to think that he will always be accepted and loved no matter who he loves now, or later.
You see, kids don’t just pick up on having a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” naturally at the age of 6 and 7, it is something they learn from adults. That it is cute that their 7-year-old boy is hitting his little girlfriend because he likes her, or that the little 7-year-old girl is dressed up for her boyfriend. Fast forward what is cute at age 6, is it still cute at 12, or 18? Why are parents so surprised that the one thing they pushed at 6 which was cute, all of a sudden is a worry at 12 and 13, I mean, you created the product. The two mothers who think it is innocent and cute that their son and daughter are boyfriend and girlfriend, will then backtrack at 12, worried about sex. You see, by pushing it at 7, you can’t backtrack out of that. Kids are now exposed to so much, but do they need to be pushed to being grown up at such an early age? As parents, why push on the boyfriend – girlfriend stereotype, when sexuality is a spectrum.
You see, as a parent, I want to set my child up for success, give him the right tools and guidance to let him fly on his own!