Gender roles and equality seem to be topics of conversation amongst my little ones lately. I overheard Cenzo and Isabella playing. Bella had just been given a new Barbie Jeep. And Cenzo wanted Ken to drive it. She told him no way was that happening. It's Barbie's car and Barbie drives it. He said, "well when we opened the box Ken was driving." She said, "It's my car and Barbie drives. If you want a ride, get in and put on your seatbelt." And he did.
Trying to raise 2 little men and 1 little woman is surely a challenge. I am constantly having to evaluate what I believe about life and men and women and society. To teach someone how to be be themselves is a daunting task. And they soak everything in. Every action, every word is made note of.
I want my boys to care about taking out the trash, helping with indoor/outdoor chores, fixing all things related to cars, figuring out how to use power tools. I also want them to know it is important to make time to be a nurturing, loving caretaker. I encourage them to read and learn as much as possible so that every door will be open to them. Education is the key to whatever future they want to have! I want them to believe in themselves and their creativity and pursue their dreams. I want them to believe that they can figure out how to make this world a better place than it is.
I would like my daughter to know that taking care of herself is top priority. I want her to be independent and confident and know she is amazing and strong and smart and beautiful. I don't want this world to ever be able to knock her down. I want her to know that knowledge is power and she has within her all she needs to be successful. I want her to learn that being self-sufficient does not mean never needing anyone. I want to make sure she has the strength to reach her dreams. I want her to have hope and go after love without fear. But, I don't want her to change herself for anyone or to have the Earth pulled out from under her by a mere mortal.
Each gender definitely has it's own unique set of challenges and gifts. But, I don't want them to be caught up too much on what a man or woman should be. I just want to raise loving, happy people. I don't want them to feel that there is any boundary of any kind that can keep them from their fullest potential. At the end of each day I just pray that I haven't screwed them up too much. And I start all over again at the next dawn.
They take it all in and make their own assumptions and inferences about equality.
One afternoon, Luccio came running and said there was a problem in the playroom and I should get down there immediately to handle it. I reminded him that his father was sitting right there and that I was sure he could handle it just like I could. He said, "but you are twice equal Daddy and I think you need to get there right now." Out of the mouths of babes.
"Twice equal" has come up a few times. There was another moment during the mad rush getting ready for school this week. It was toothbrushing time and Isabella was arguing that she was strong enough to get the toothpaste down from the cabinet herself. Cenzo dared to tangle with her and insisted he was stronger and taller. That tiny little lady refused to budge. She used the stool to climb up on the sink and reach the toothpaste and had quite the determined attitude as she put the toothpaste on all the brushes and handed them out with satisfaction. Cenzo conceded that she was as strong as he was or maybe even stronger.
I added my two cents that we are all equal. Men and women can each do things and we are equally as strong. Cenzo said, "well that is not actually true. Women are twice equal because men can't have babies." True my Little Man, so wise!