I have thought a lot about what it may mean to raise a boy. While I was not completely set on having a girl, I knew that if I had one I would make sure she was a badass. Knowing that I am having a boy, I often think — how do I make sure he is strong while also gentle and sensitive? What happens in a boy’s life that makes them want to kill everything they see, or punch everything? Is it nurture or nature? I guess I will find out soon enough.
I grew up with a dad that would remind us that we were to “be seen and not heard.” I have the smallest of bladders and would always have to go to the bathroom (and still do) and my dad always made me feel horrible about it. As though it was my fault that I had to go to the bathroom 30 minutes later. Thank you to my wonderful, patient husband who might sometimes think: “Seriously? You just went.” but still makes sure we can find a bathroom. (That was the case pre-pregnancy too).
In any case, a line from the book “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown reminded me of my childhood:
“In my family, being high maintenance was a huge shame trigger, especially for girls. Be easy, fun, and flexible. Need a bathroom break on a road trip? We’ll pull over when we don’t have to cross the highway to get to the gas station. Don’t like what we’re having for dinner? Don’t eat. Carsick? It’s all in your head. Unfortunately, being low maintenance also meant not asking for what you needed and never inconveniencing anyone.” Page 100
I cannot tell you how many times I was told by my dad that it was all in my head. I remember one summer we were told we needed to shuck about 6 dozen ears of corn. We would buy a large quantity when it was the end of the season, shuck them and then freeze them for the rest of the year. Supposedly it still tasted just the same (but corn was just corn to me). I vividly remember sitting on the front porch step, making a mess of all the remnants when I felt a sharp pain in my thumb. I look down and my thumb is covered in blood. Now, I have a very high pain tolerance, but I have NO tolerance for seeing blood (mine or anyone else’s). I yell for my dad and we go inside. As he is rinsing it off we realize there is a piece of glass in my thumb. It must have been in the soil and grown in with the corn husk. We get it out and I literally pass out from all the blood. When I am back and normal again my dad basically tells me it is all in my head and that I am a wuss. Seriously.
That and many other situations throughout my childhood made me not ask for help, and honestly it is hard for me to do so today. I did what I could to not be high maintenance, to figure it out on my own, and not be in the way. It was easier that way. However, I do not plan to raise my son that way. I want him to use his words, and speak up — whether he is high maintenance or not. I want him to be just who he is without being squashed by the judgements of others. Is that too much to ask for?
I am a girl. I kick ass like a girl. I run like a girl. I am sassy like no boy could ever be. I am me. I am a girl. I run, sweat profusely, and would challenge any boy, even if they are stronger, fiercer, and could truly kick my butt. That does not stop me from stepping up to the starting line and saying: prove it.
“Always” feminine products have a new ad campaign. For those of you that are frequent readers of my blog, you will know I am not a fan of traditional advertising, where soap companies try to use feminism to leverage our purchasing power for their products. I am not a fan. I happen to be a purchaser of Always products (apologies if that is TMI), but I do not purchase them because of their ad campaigns. I purchase because they are the right products for what I want to use. They are lucky for my support.
Yesterday, I came across their new ad campaign, “Like a Girl” with the tagline: “Rewrite the Rules.” You will want to watch for yourself, but before you do, I will tell you I started getting all irritated in the beginning because I think someone needs to be more passionate about what it means to be a girl. Eventually near the end you see some quasi passion, but I think they could have done better to cast young girls with real passion for what it means to be a girl.
Here is hoping you teach your daughters to be loud, bold, and passionate about their girlhood. Hear them roar. See them being proud of who they are as girls/women. My hope is that they are sassy. That they swing their arms, run fast, and kick butt.
Last night I spent the evening with a group of colleagues, all women. It was a badass bunch of women. Loads of talent, creativity, ingenuity, and well…sassy spunk. I am a sassy spunk kind of girl. I like to laugh. I like to ponder the world, deliberate on how individuals interact, and at the end of the day explore how women can rule the world. Why not, right? The mind of a woman is complex, intricate, and full of multi-tasking wonder. It is fun to have an evening of good food, conversation, and appreciation in the middle of the week.
I drove home thinking, “would I have had the same kind of evening with a mixed group of men and women?” My answer is yes, and no. See I did not know everyone well. I knew some better than others. And yet, I feel like women know how to bridge that gap, and find ways to connect, in ways that men don’t. Or so I think, since the last time I checked, I am not a man. Thank God.
Which is why this video resonated with me (much like “Riley and Pink Toys“). A good friend shared it on Facebook, and I had to share it, because while it is about future girl engineers, and toys for girls, it also makes me think of how the woman’s mind works. How everything in a woman’s mind is interconnected, a puzzle always being put together and solved.
A Beastie Boys twist of lyrics is what also does it for me. By the way, I love the girl’s t-shirt. “More than just a princess.” Damn straight! I am grateful for the openness, sisterhood, and connection that can happen so easily between women.
How many times in your life have you lived in an apartment and overheard the tenants lIving above, below, or next to you? My response? Too often. As frustrating as it can sometimes be, I probably have been the culprit of other tenants wanting to scream, “Shut up, you are too loud!” It is life in much of the rental world. And yet, Charlie McDowell wittingly shares the drama and laughs, of overhearing the dimwitted interactions of the two girls that live above him in “Dear Girls Above Me.”
His book intersperses his life, recent break-up, frustration, then intrigue with his upstairs neighbors, mixed with actual comments he hears from upstairs, rolled up with interactions with his roommate and landlord. I chuckled, rolled my eyes, and laughed some more. A clever book and definite must read. I included a few of my favorites here:
“Dear Girls Above Me, ‘If that bitch talks shit about me one more time, I’m gonna wear a white dress to her wedding.’ Men use fists, women use fabric.” page 27
“Dear Girls Above Me, ‘Did you hear that all these kids were rescued in Chile after being trapped in some mountain?’ Miners, not minors.” page 142
“Dear Girls Above Me, ‘If a car is out of gas, can you fart into it to make it drive?’ Meet you in the parking lot in 10.” page 142
“Dear Girls Above Me, ‘Eww Cathy. Was that a regular fart or did you just Queefer Sutherland?’ You have 24 hours to never say that again.” page 263
“Dear Girls Above Me, ‘Well if you still have diarrhea tomorrow we need to get you some of that ex-lax stuff.’ Putting out the fire with gasoline, huh?” page 264
“Dear Girls Above Me, (regarding her loud fart) ‘Exactly why I’ll never move in with a guy. Who wants to give that up?’ I guess I’m the lucky one then.” page 264
“Dear Girls Above Me, ‘In getting colonics, we basically paid 75 dollars to take the biggest shits of our lives.’ Ha, mine was only 7.99 at Chili’s.” page 264
What are some of the things you have heard through the walls that were ironic or made you laugh?
This quote has been spreading around Facebook. I have to share it here. It is so true. For all those book loving women out there, this post is for you. I am this girl. If you had a little camera or viewfinder into my world, you would find me with a book in the car when Chris is driving, in the bathroom when I am drying my hair, during toilet visits, curled up on the couch, in the bathtub, while I am running on the treadmill, snuggled up in bed before falling asleep, the list goes on.
Chris has lost me many times. I think he has finally given up. He knows there is no competition that can compare to an amazing book. He knows that if I am nearing the end I will want to stay up until I finish those last few pages. He might see tears in my eyes because I am so enraptured in the story, that I feel like I am there with the characters. He knows I may barter with him about something we need to do just so I can find out what happens next.
He knows he has married a woman who reads, and there is nothing he can do about it. He is smitten. He loves to watch the smile on my face when I close the back flap of a book, grinning because I liked the ending and cannot wait for a sequel. He watches for the next book that may come out from my favorite authors. He gets it.
I have copied the above link below so you can have more context for this quote I am referring to from Rosemarie Urquico:
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.