A few days after Christmas, we slowly started relocating the gifts that remained under the tree to their proper resting places. Among the clothes, forsaken for
noisier more exciting things, lay the baseball and glove given to my three year old daughter by her uncle. She had unwrapped it and accepted it graciously, if not enthusiastically, yet hadn't touched it since. "I don't want this, Mama.", she declared as she plopped it into my hands. "Why not? Uncle Paul gave it to you. He's the best." "I don't want to play baseball. Girls don't play baseball.", she offered, matter-of-factly. Here's the thing. I don't care how my kids suss out gender "norms". It seems perfectly natural that there comes a point in each child's life, when they begin to make delineations between themselves and the rest of the world.
Having just started to wrap a rapidly developing brain around the fact that they are an individual, a being completely separate of their parents, there's comfort in compartmentalizing what they observe. I just don't want them to get lost in absolutes. Without even bothering to argue, I ushered her over to the kitchen table. "Come with me. Sit on my lap." As I sat the glove down alongside my computer, I pulled her up and typed "Mo'ne Davis" into youtube. She watched quietly as the powerhouse of a teenage girl disproved that theory faster than the ball could fly. After watching a few more, per her request, I asked, "So, do you still think girls don't play baseball?" "No. But I still don't want to play it." That's fine, little girl. So long as you know you can. I can live with that. And may your stubbornness serve you well. Have you ever used Youtube to teach your kid a lesson? Any favorites that lay down the law?
It takes a village!
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