About Me

My photo
...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Know Thyself

Hope has forever been a tomboy.  To her, boys have been little more than kids to tackle on the playground in a random game of football, little more than fun friends to kill zombies and aliens with on XBOX, and little more than just one more friend to make jokes with in the school lunch room.  However, somewhere over the summer, something shifted and for the first time she is seeing at least one boy in a completely different light.

(let us all take a moment to shed a silent tear and pour some out from the bottle in remembrance of the glorious days before puberty)

I attended a bridal shower last June and Hope went to hang out with the groom and his nephews because, well, bridal showers are boring.  The story, as I was later told, is that Hope sat down and kicked the socks off the boys in a game of Halo III (for those that may not be familiar with the game, it's a first person shooter game that is way too complicated for someone like me, but the people that play it know exactly how much skill that game requires, and in the world of gamers, for a girl to come in and own the place in a game like that well... I believe that makes her somewhat legend).  Apparently, after she left their presence one of the young boys looked up at his uncle and said, "I think I just met the perfect girl."

I have since become very good friends with this family and we have spent much time with them, and in this time Hope and this young fellow have developed quite a crush on each other.  And as much as the future of "young love" terrifies me, I know it's inevitable and I have to admit that, if Hope is going to have a crush on anyone at the age of 12, I am very pleased with her first choice.  The kid is very intelligent, polite, well behaved, respectful, and just a good fun loving young man.  The funny part for me is Hope: watching this girl of fire have stupid giddy girl moments is completely new and definitely uncharted territory for both myself and her.

The other night we were sitting in the living room and out of the blue she asked, "Mom, do I need to be more feminine?"

I'm certain if I'd had a sip of some kind of beverage in my mouth at the time I would've choked on it from shock.  I immediately turned around and said, "Where's this coming from?"  She gave me a blank stare for a minute and I followed up with, "I'm serious.  Why are you asking me this?  What does feminine mean to you?"

She proceeded to explain to me that the last time we went to visit her little friend, who is often surrounded by his brother and a couple other boys, that she wondered if she was too hard on them.  They had played tag and she knocked them down a few times, and if they started talking trash she talked trash right back, and she just wondered if maybe she should stop doing that.

I'm pretty sure if someone had a camera on my face at the time you would've thought  I'd been transported into space where aliens had removed my frontal lobe just moments before I heard her say this -- NEVER in the past 12 years of watching this girl grow up did I ever imagine she would come ask me something like that, nor was I sure how to respond... at least for the first few seconds.

I finally replied with something like, "You're treading on dangerous ground here, kiddo.  The biggest mistake  young girls make at this time in their lives is stop being who they are in an attempt to be who they think some boy would like them to be.  Life is too short to try to mold yourself into what you THINK someone else might want you to be.  Hell... I'm speaking from experience here.  I had a man complain that I read too much.  Did I stop reading because HE thought I read too much?  Um, don't think so.  See ya later, idiot!  I'm out, and taking my books with me!  And I had another man complain because I wasn't 'out doorsy' enough for him.  Really?!  Oh, I'm sorry...  Let me go buy some camping gear and head out to the hills and get dirty and smelly and everything I hate just so YOU can pretend I'm the woman of your dreams!  Pardon me, but I'll take my glass of wine in front of a fire place in a bad ass hotel room any day over a damn camping trip in the hills with no shower and no toilet and no lock on my door!  Don't think so... SEE YA!  And I know more than one man has complained about how opinionated I am but again... you don't like it, you can shove it.  And maybe that's partly why I'm still alone, maybe that's the same reason I may be alone for the rest of my life, but hell... I'll take my books and send myself on my own luxurious vacations that include beds and toilets and showers before I ever stop being me just to have some idiot man around who doesn't really like me anyway.  You need to know yourself and love yourself and know that the person you're with knows you and loves you for who you are.  What do you think you're going to do?  Suddenly transform yourself into this quiet shy little wall flower that doesn't speak her mind?  That's not you! You want to be more feminine?  Wear something other than a t-shirt once in a while, but even then... promise me you'll still hold your own in the trash talk arena and you'll still knock them out on the playing field.  It's like I said to you a long time ago, just because you're in a dress doesn't mean you can't wield a sword.  Got it?"

She smiled and laughed at me and said, "Got it.  ...I love you, Mom."

God help me... I hate puberty...

No comments:

Post a Comment