This week I read an article about a Canadian couple who have chosen not to reveal the gender of their baby. So what, you say? Many people do this, right? Waiting until the baby is born to announce whether they have a bouncing baby girl or baby boy is one thing, but this baby is 4 months old. This baby's name is Storm. Only the parents, two brothers, two midwives and a close family friend know whether the baby is a boy or girl.
The parents chose to do this to enable their child to choose his or her own identity rather than framing his or her identity based on gender. These parents allow their two older sons to choose their own clothing, not limiting them to boys clothing and giving the boys free range over whether to grow or cut their hair. They feel that much is defined for a person simply based on their gender and wish to create a more enlightened environment for their children.
The article also talked about their oldest son having emotional difficulties when being mistaken as a girl. He has even chosen not to participate in some activities over anxiety of being mistaken as a girl because he has long hair and wears pink.
While I understand the point they are trying to make about our culture, I don't think this is the way to go about it. To a degree, we all want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. There is a certain amount of security in knowing that you fall within certain categories. You are not alone. You are not an oddity.
For me to say that I am a female, wife, mom, attorney, writer, Christian, friend, daughter, sister, cousin, auntie, niece, granddaughter, Alpha Phi, Democrat, talker, PEO, lover of fine chocolate and food, coffee and tea drinker and thinker doesn't mean that I am no longer an individual with singular characteristics and unique ideas and lots of quirks. These labels are just a few of the thousands of words I could use to describe and define who I am.
This makes me think of the story of the "Ugly Duckling." He doesn't fit in. No one in his little world looks like him. He feels isolated; alone; strange; and sad. He leaves his society to go it alone; the odd duck. When he grows up and realizes that he is a beautiful swan and does belong to a group, he is thrilled. He has a place in the world. He is still himself, but is also a member of a larger group with similar interests.
We all just want to belong somewhere and be loved for who we are, not for whom we are trying to be or what we are trying to prove.
It's Friday…. Go eat some chocolate. It's good for you, and you deserve it!
Nota Bene: I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all parents and kids are not created equally, but are wholly individual in personality and style. Regardless of these differences, the basic needs of love, patience and support remain constant. Here are the weekly affirmations, tips and reminders. Unless otherwise noted, these are entirely my opinion. Take them with a grain of salt, or not!