Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Boys and girls

There's this fad going on in parenting... Or perhaps it's not a fad at all and I am just discovering it. Either way, I think it's freaking nuts. The fad? Gender neutral EVERYTHING. Why? Because how dare you assign a gender to your baby/toddler/kid/teen. That's for them to decide!
Let's back up a minute.
I'm really a very accepting person. I recognize that many people struggle with their identity be it gender, orientation, or whatever. Dude. I get it. I desperately wanted to be a redhead in Jr. high. In all seriousness I am not making light of those struggles. I can't say I quite understand it, because I'm totally cool with the fact I sport lady bits and wouldn't change it even if I could. My intent here is not to shame anyone. I've got my own demons in the closet. Trust me.
 But, I honestly don't understand where the benefit is in pretending that boys are girls are just "it" until they're "old enough to decide what they want to be." And honestly, the mere idea of it kind of annoys me a little. I change about 8-10 diapers per day. Chase is indeed a boy. It's part of his identity. Wether or not he chooses to accept or change that at a later time in his life, is up to him. But here, now, today... He's a happy, healthy, 6 month old baby BOY.
So, having been born a boy, he will be raised as a boy. He's too young to have preferences now, but you bet we lean towards trucks, dinosaurs, blue, green, sports, and all manner of boy things. I would never dress him in dresses and pink and buy him barbies. Rather than worry that I'm pressuring him to be a boy, I feel I am teaching him to rejoice in the many beautiful differences between boys and girls, how we are so wonderfully opposite in so many ways, and yet so complimentary. Because, you see... while I could accept whomever my son grows to be I do feel an absolute duty to raise him in a way that teaches him who he is, where he came from, why he is here, and rather than leave his self-discovery to be guided by the media and friends and social pressure, Jon and I play the important role of guiding him. I wish more parents were more hands on in this way. Insisting that boys and girls are the same and that it's just society that inserts differences is silly. We are hard wired completely differently and pretending otherwise really just sets our little ones up for more confusion in my opinion.
But then again what more can you expect in a society that shames those who hold strong to religion and have beliefs beyond "Everything is right and good and ok and there is no such thing as right and wrong and how dare you think my lifestyle choices are possibly sinful!" I hold firmly that is is not our place to judge others. It's not. Chase will be raised to treat every human being with respect and love- regardless of race, religion. Orientation, or any other factor. But I also won't stand back while society lets him believe that there is no right or wrong. There is. Just as there are boys and girls. 

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