As Q gets older, life becomes more complex (of course). I’ve found that it’s become harder to advocate for him as his challenges have become harder to pin down, more subtle, and sometimes more ambiguous. For instance, Q has expressed a feeling of invisibility at school and the sense that folks just “don’t get” him. But it’s subtle. He’s not down and out there at every turn. And many have said he seems happier this year than last. But something isn’t right for him. He has a hard time articulating it (after all, he’s only just 10), and that leaves me having a hard time trying to rearticulate it. Or to make meaning of it. And then, harder still, to try to help others make meaning of all of this. It’s no longer just watching out for my little boy in a dress. With growth comes change, and complexity, and navigating the more complex layers of life with and for Q has been quite something (something of a challenge? something of a heartbreak at times?).
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
May 2.5 year old daughter loves pink. And wears it a lot. What does this mean?????
I think that what is needed here is a series of confession posts. So, here goes (be gentle, please).
Sometimes I prefer to just drop Q off for swim team practice instead of going in so that *I* don’t see the stares or looks he gets from some other kids, siblings, etc. He still is only conscious of that very occasionally. I, however, am hyper aware. And it makes me SO angry. And, at the same time, I feel SO helpless to do anything about it. I’ve considered asking five year olds if they have a particular question about my kiddo. Perhaps I should. I fear how it would go over…
So, I’m feeling cowardly.
Confession #1. Done. (Now, I will proceed to hide, having just shared this hard truth.)
I’ve been a stingy blogger lately. Very stingy. In fact, WordPress was kind enough to send me a little summary of stats about my blog at the turn of the year. Three. That’s exactly how many posts I wrote last year. Horrible, I say! I realized my stinginess, promised to write more (out loud, even, to a friend!), but then I didn’t.
I just am not sure what to say. I feel like we’re in a holding pattern and like I just don’t know what to feel or say lately. Q remains awesome. Dressing like a girl. Identifying as a boy. Continuing to confuse many people, but apparently not himself. At the same time, something isn’t right for him. He’s sad, often feeling a bit sick….just off. I’m worried. And most of all, sad that I don’t know how to help him see his way through whatever is happening at the moment. That he’s hurting in some way and I can’t just cuddle him and make it all better.
I know that’s part of growing up. For most kids. For many adults, even. But, as a mom, it’s just hard, and it makes my heart hurt.
So, I’ll try to be around a bit more. Though perhaps sharing…just confusion? We shall see.
Now that we have a baby in the house, we play around a lot with gendered stereotypes. Q loves to say, “Thank goodness she’s wearing pink so we don’t forget she’s a girl!” I like the lighthearted way that we all get to play with these gendered norms that still are a powerful and sometimes frustrating or overwhelming force at other times, especially for Q (current agony involves locker rooms and when to wear the hair in a ponytail).
I shot this video the other day to document W’s new crawling ability, but a conversation about gender ensued spontaneously. I thought I’d share it here. Just know that there’s lots of sarcasm in there that you can’t necessarily note unless you know the subtext. And pardon my loud laughs. I was wielding the phone-as-camera.
OK….video not uploading. Any hints? Working on this….
There’s been so much support from folks on this blog. But right now I just need to admit that I worry a lot. I worry about Q’s future, no matter what it holds. I’ll support him. We’ll support him. But what will he encounter “out there?”
That worries me. A lot. And often.
I love this boy so much.
Not really on blog-topic, but….
Our newest family member arrived on July 4!!!! Please help us welcome W (who happens, like Q, to have a gender-bending name….by happenstance!)
Posted in expanding gender notions, gender funneling, gender roles, gender stereotypes, stereotypes, Uncategorized, tagged boys and girls, fitting in, gender norms, gender stereotypes, stereotypes on May 5, 2010 | 5 Comments »
At Q’s school, there’s a question on the white board each morning, and kids read it and write a response below. Everyone can then see their response and they usually discuss the variety of experiences, opinions, etc. in those responses.
Today’s question: Do you break boy-girl stereotypes? (spurred on by kids from an older class coming in later today to talk about stereotypes and, I believe, do a survey about them — did I mention I love our school?)
Q’s response on the board? “No.”
My internal response: “What?!?!?!?”
There stood my kid, clad wholly in clothes from the “girl” side of the store. Growing out his hair. Purple shoes. And he said he doesn’t break those stereotypes.
Part of me was shocked, part intrigued, part worried. I’ll admit to worried, because last year he talked about how he was a stereotype breaker all the time. This year, not so much. And this seemed to be the clearest message possible.
Now of course I’m fine with however he wants to be and identify and dress and all that jazz. I just still worry that there’s something he now feels like he has to hide (see my last post). I could be wrong. But what if I’m right?
I think I need some advice and opinions here (even if just to tell me to chill the heck out!).