I’ve been inundated with “girly” things the past 5 days watching my friends’ kids since Friday. I have seen more pink crap than I have in my entire life I think, not to mention been slowly tortured with lame movies and seemingly endless listenings to High School Musical, part 1, 2 AND 3, which apparently all have the same plot. I have never wondered what it felt like to be a pig roasted on a turning spit, but I have now felt it.
I grew up with older brothers, and not that I was a tomboy, but I had a certain appreciation for male ummm things. I liked that my brothers were very different from each other too – one was totally into sports and the other into history and reading and they were both into music. They were NOT into making bead bracelets and figuring out for the zillionth time if you were going to live in a mansion, an apartment, a shack or a house and married to boys named Noel or Taylor. (No offense to any boys currently reading this with those names)
But it occurs to me that it’s so hard to raise girls. It’s hard to raise kids, sure. It’s just very awkward raising girls for me personally, and to know what to say and when.
We were walking by a Victoria’s Secret store with the mannequins in their little bras and panties. The girls made faces and giggled and the younger one said, that’s so gross. I asked why is it gross? She said, “I mean come on, no one wants to see that. (then whispering) I mean there are BOYS around.” I laughed, well yes. I did a quick think-through exercise of what to say and then said something like “Well, first of all, a woman’s body is NEVER gross, and there are lots of people who want to see them. However, you’re right that maybe they shouldn’t be flaunting bras and panties in everyone’s faces because those things are private and what you wear under your clothes is no one’s business.” This opened the floodgate though, when the older one said, “Sometimes girls wear their bras like tops.” I said, “That’s true. And I think people can wear whatever they want to, and we don’t have the right to look down on them or be mean to them or judge them. But we don’t have to dress like them either. You dress the way you are comfortable and you treat others the way you want to be treated, right?” Of course they both said “right” like good little girls. And then we started talking about how to dress appropriately and if you should cover all the naughty bits and what makes them naughty in the first place and why can’t boys just keep their eyes to themselves any way.
I got to thinking about how I had a million other things to say about everything, but thankfully the younger one changed the subject. Their mom is back in town now and she can field the tough questions. Like when we were watching a show about dog training and they showed a family with a problem dog. The family was headed by a lesbian couple. The younger girl asked me if they were married and i said, uhhh where do they live? She said I think they said Boston. I said, probably, and she asked why that mattered. I said I don’t know, ask California. She laughed but she had no idea why. I didn’t go into it. That’s definitely a conversation for Mom.