This week at Daily Grommet we're honoring International Women's Day (on March 8th) by featuring some amazing women and their creations. We're also excited to introduce you to our guest blogger who is a strong and inspiring woman if there ever was one. She is a mom of two, wife of one, and a freelance writer and blogger with a passionate following.
Why girls rock
By Susan Wagner of Friday Playdate
Recently, my sons have entirely shed their baby selves and become full fledged little boys. Unlike the baby years, which are characterized by chubby arms and belly laughs, the little boy years are marked by constant skinned knees and an obsession with fart jokes.
The skinned knees don't bother me, but I am not a fan of fart jokes. I am the girl in this family, and girls don't like fart jokes.
Twenty years ago, I would have bristled if anyone had called me a girl; I was a woman, and while I never went so far as to insist on an entirely non-patriarchal spelling (because really, womyn? gender is complicated enough without that) I was certainly careful about how I referred to myself and my female friends. A girl was young and naive and dis-empowered; a woman was strong and smart and successful.
Somewhere along the line, though -- about the time I had that first baby -- I lost my urge to be smart and strong and successful all the time, or at least my need to prove that I was all of those things every single day. As I fell into the routine of napping and nursing and nestling, I worried just a bit that I was losing my edge, that I would never again be what I was before the baby.
And honestly, I am not. Thank goodness.
As the girl in this family, I get the best of both worlds; I get to be smart and strong and successful and I get to be the emotional center of my family. My sons come to me for first aid and for answers and for hugs; they rely on me to know everything from where they left their library books to who directed the original Star Wars Trilogy to how to deal with that mean kid at school. My job, as the girl, is to be smart and strong and successful, every day. I just don't worry so much about it any more because I'm too busy actually doing it.
A few years ago, my husband said, "I've been thinking that one day, the boys won't want to kiss me any more." He's right -- eventually, it won't be cool to kiss Dad, and he will get only high fives and the occasional hug. It is also likely that there will be parts of their lives that my sons will not share with my husband, because guys don't talk about things like emotions or fears. But because I am the girl, I will always get hugs and kisses; I will also always have a window into my sons' souls that no one else gets. My job is to be strong and soft at the very same time, because I am a girl. It's one of the perks of gender that they don't tell you about in undergraduate women's studies courses.
I am enjoying the little boy years at my house, even with the skinned knees and fart jokes. I will hug my sons at night, after they have been outside playing in the grass and dirt, and say, "You smell like a little boy." And they will say back, "You smell like a big girl!" I always take that as a compliment.
I love being a girl -- a woman, if you prefer -- because I love that I can be strong and smart and successful and still get a shower of smooches and hugs at the end of the day. I wouldn't trade my role as the girl in this family for anything in the world.