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A and I were at the fabric store yesterday picking up some fleece to make a birthday present for a friend of hers. One of the reasons I think A was initially drawn to Maggie is that, like A, Maggie is not a girly-girl. No pink, no flowers, no bows and ribbons, no Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana. A’s interests are simple and old fashioned and outdoorsy — animals, stuffed animals, skiing, swimming, hiking, camping, fishing (K, on the other hand, was clearly switched at birth. That child is all baby-dolls, dresses, and all hues of pink.)

“Maggie likes sports, Mom. And her favorite colors are orange, blue, and green.” So we look at fabric for Maggie’s blanket. I look at patterns I’d pick out for A; funky stripes in red, orange and brown;  polka dots; animals; snow. We carefully consider the wall of fleece; A rubs her face on bolt after bolt of fuzzy softness, passing quickly over anything that has a speck of pink in it. At the end of the row she says “this one, mama, this one,” tugging at a bolt of royal blue fleece with basketballs, footballs and soccer balls on it.  OK. Off we go to pick a coordinating solid fleece for the reverse side of the blanket. We find, we cut, we pay, we leave.  Awesome.

Except for the little voice in my head that piped up, upon first being presented with the blue fleece with balls on it, “really, that one? that’s a boy’s pattern!” 

WTF??  Where the hell did that little voice come from? We work hard to raise the girls without narrow-minded, limiting gender stereotypes. We teach them — and strongly believe — that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard and set their minds to it; that no doors are automatically closed to them for any reason. I believe so strongly in this it’s one of the reasons I left the Catholic church many years ago. We practice what we preach because it’s just the way we live. So why the little voice? Why was that the FIRST thing that came to mind? I’m saddened by that little voice. Yes, I carried the day in the end – my daughter has no idea that thought crossed my mind. Still – I’m pissed. When I was a little girl thoughts like that often translated into actions. I suppose it’s progress of some sort that I only thought it an didn’t act it or say it.  But when will that kind of thinking become uncommon — even for people who supposedly “know better?”

 ps:  The blanket came out great, in case you were wondering. How cute is this?

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