I’m approaching my four-year anniversary of motherhood. My two boys are responsible for this milestone. They are teaching me so much about life…
Recently I was in the bathroom when the door was busted open with the type of urgency an adult would use if there was a national emergency. I expected the person on the other side to yell, “Get out now! Your life is in danger!”
In the doorway stood a 40 lb three-foot tall boy in his Cat & Jack undies holding a mass of black fabric by his side.
“Mama, can you help me put on my Batman costume?” I told him no and to please shut the door because people in bathrooms need privacy, and I am a person.
He slowly shut the door and asked, “Mama why are you sitting down on the potty?”
“Because boys are different from girls,” I said. Then the door closed.
I stared at myself in the mirror, while washing my hands, and thought about what I just said. I need to get ahead of this before it’s too late. I was snapped out of my thoughts when my cute chunky toddler opened the drawer of the bathroom vanity with a force that left a bruise on my shin. But in all fairness, he absolutely had to get out the hairdryer.
Son, girls are different from boys, and here’s why…, but first I’ll put on your Batman costume complete with fake muscles and a plastic mask.
A girl will carry her baby doll, while singing a song about fairy dust. She will skip to the rhythm of her mud covered boots as they land on top of mossy rocks in the forest. She is equal parts nurturing and courageous adventurer.
You, son, can carry a baby doll in the coziness of your Batman muscles, while singing a song about garbage trucks. You will skip to the rhythm of your mud covered boots as they land on top of mossy rocks in the forest. You are equal parts unhinged curiosity and brazen adventurer.
You can fall and get back up. She can fall and get back up. She might cry because her baby fell down and got muddy, but you might laugh because your baby doll fell and got muddy. Neither is bad, just different.
Son, you are not like her because you are a he. You will be given the same opportunities as she will, but you’ll approach them differently. She will deserve to be heard and you will deserve to be heard, but standing side by side you probably will hear the same thing with a different spin.
Your approach to cleaning up the toys on the floor might take you into a spacial journey filled with more building and destroying to finally get those tiny Lego pieces into the box. Her approach to cleaning up the toys on the floor might result in giving the Lego pieces names and putting them to bed in their box.
She will think slightly different from you. She’ll do math slightly different from you. She’ll run her mile in gym class faster or slower. Maybe she’ll chose to walk, because she hates running and rather be out rock climbing. Whatever. That competition doesn’t matter. What matters is that you respect her. It matters that you hear her and acknowledge her as a person, and all people are different.
You are different from them and they from you. Girls and boys weren’t made to be the same. They were made to share and to be compatible. Our world needs more compatibility. More sharing thoughts, sharing adventures, sharing responsibilities.
Learn from the differences. Choose to remove labeling the differences, and just recognizing we need to be different from one another to thrive.
Oh, and son, before you run away to save Gotham I have one more thing to say.
One day in the faraway future, but in this galaxy, when you have real muscles, you’ll have the privilege to work alongside a girl. She’ll be across from you, and next to you, at the conference table. She’ll lead you on that building site as you look over blueprints. She’ll safely land the plane, despite turbulence, while you co-pilot. You might need to knock on her office door and gently open it. Please don’t just bust in like you own the hour. Be aware and kind.
Respect and love her differences. Don’t devalue her based on what she can or cannot produce or how she looks. Always look for her beautiful uniqueness and then figure out how it will balance out your weakness.
You’ll definitely save a lot of good people this way. . Oh, and girls can pee standing up, it’s just practical to sit down. Girls like efficiency. Girls are different from boys.
Okay, go Batman, make Gotham a better place.
Love you more than candy,