Saturday, March 7, 2015

Choosing words carefully

Today James grabbed a toy snake and as he held it to the back of his head he asked me, "Mom, do I look like a girl?"
I told him that he looked like someone with long hair.
He pushed further, "But do I look more like a girl."
I said yes, if the girl has long hair. 
He gave up on the conversation and ran off, not giving it a second thought. 
We frequently have a similar conversation about "girl toys" and "boy toys". And we are quick to reinforce that anyone can play with any toy. 
All of these questions from James lead me to wonder about many things, but mainly they remind me that it's important to choose my words well. I want to teach him tolerance and equality and love, but sometimes my admittedly more "liberal" thoughts aren't shared by everyone. This is one of the things that scares me the most about raising my boys. It especially scares me when I think about James staring school in the fall. 
I once had a coworker ask me what I thought of gay marriage and what I would think if James brought home a boyfriend. When I told her I would be happy that he'd found someone to love, she seemed shocked. That was one conversation that ended quickly! 
I know as the boys get older, we will have more conversations and lessons to be taught (and even more for us to learn as parents.) For now we will keep our message simple and accepting. 


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