What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of!"
What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of!"
You might imagine how I loved reciting that as a child! Being the only girl in a house crowded with boys gave me a distinct advantage growing up. While my brothers often shared a bed, bath, and toys, I usually had separate quarters and possessions simply by virtue of my gender. I was treated differently by my parents and even my grandparents.
Of course my brothers also shared a camaraderie that I didn’t have with anyone. I often played alone, especially if they were playing army or cowboys or something deemed too “manly” for me. But when the going got rough and I felt left out of my brothers little clique, I recited that verse to them! Made them turn red-faced every time!
I also had responsibilities and expectations that my brothers did not, because I was a girl AND the oldest child. I often cooked and cleaned and even supervised them while they played or watched television. But no matter how unfair any situation seemed at the time, I always knew deep within my soul that girls are better than boys.
My little kindergarten girls seem to have the same belief. It is just a matter of common knowledge that boys are bad, girls are nice; boys like to be dirty, girls like to be pretty; boys like blue, and girls like pink. “Boys are so, so… oooweee.” to quote one of my girls.
All of my girls have assumed this week that they are not only on Santa’s “nice list” but somewhere near the top. Only my boys have asked me about Santa’s other list. One came up to my desk yesterday and in a doleful voice asked, “Mrs. Maurer, does Santa really have a naughty list?” “Yes, indeed!” was my girlish reply. I couldn’t help myself! And I’m obligated to support the traditional beliefs of my children. Right?
I have been privileged to raise both genders. I love the balance of observing both perspectives and being a part of both worlds, and I think raising both has made me a better teacher. As a woman, I have had to expand my knowledge and tolerance and patience in order to cope with little men! Maybe that’s why God gave me the experience of having brothers.
My son came to visit with me last night and after he left I reflected on the many ways he has enriched my life. Boys are just different. He disagrees with me more than my daughters do, or at least he is bold enough to say so. He lives his own life, often with little regard for my approval. He makes mistakes, but doesn’t wallow in guilt like a woman might. He isn’t afraid to do things his own way. And one of the things he admitted last night is that he never reads my blog. So I guess I’m safe in sharing these sweet Christmas photos of him! LOL
If you have a son, be sure to tell him that he is on Santa’s nice list…even if he isn’t.
P. S. Phil...be sure to tell Robert what a great post he missed!!