Ever notice how when justifying a child’s misbehavior no one ever says stuff like “girls will be girls” or “she’s a girl”, but the list of things a “young lady” can’t do is almost endless?
You learn from a young age that masculinity comes with freedom; femininity comes with restrictions.
I remember the exact moment I decided that I no longer wanted children. It was as my niece rocked back and forth proclaiming that I hated her and only said likewise so I didn’t hurt her feelings. This beautiful child, this kind soul who brightens my day and makes me want to keep going despite the darkness I sometimes find myself inhabiting somehow managed, at such a young age, to be just like me and just like her mother. A wounded soul that feels everything said to her so deeply, a soul who embraces the sharp edges of words and carries their accidental cuts as unasked for wounds across her open heart. I never wanted her to find depression. Never wanted her to sink so deeply into sadness as to no longer be able to find a way out. I wanted her to only know kindness and to never realize that in the end the world is a rough place. A never wanted to have to hold her as she cried while having no good words to soothe her pain. Like me, she knows when a kind word is said just to be said. Like me, she drifts more easily towards sadness than happiness. I don’t know how to tell her that some day the sun will come out and you’ll never need to shed another tear. And I never want my child to sit next to her cousin and shed the same tears because this child that looks nothing like me but acts so much like me and holds my heart as if i birthed her myself, shows me how ill prepared I am to shield those I love from the worlds harsh glare.