Raising Ourselves: Girls and Boys
Disappointment. Comes from assumed behaviors and expectations of another. Comes from customs and values inferred upon others without the benefit of the same upbringing.
Maybe, little boy, you were raised without a father or a mother. Did you have siblings? A sister? A brother? Other family living near? Maybe, you little man, were raised to fight to win. Protector. Defender. Maybe, you little warrior, were raised that caring, kindness, nurturing or generosity will come eventually. You’ll learn about it in school. For now, stomp, grab, take, make it yours. Money will provide nurture. Maybe, young man, you were raised to do what you wanted, short of getting arrested. Wink. Proud parents of the future Harvard Grad and CEO.
Maybe, little lady, you were raised to preen, brush your long, long hair until it shone. Don’t spill on your new dress. Twirl for daddy. Keep your knees together, sweetie. Maybe, princess, you were raised to look for your prince—one who’ll respect your career— because women’s rights are human rights, princesses must be warriors, Supreme Court Judges, Presidential Nominees, but first of all: mothers. Nurturers. Maybe, young lady, you were raised to give and give and worry and give until you have nothing left for yourself, no self-nurturing left. You went to school, went to work, had a baby, helped your parents get to doctor appointments, helped your children with their homework, helped throw a baby shower, helped do the grocery shopping, the laundry, the cooking. Help. Worry. Help.
Little Boy, Little Lady, meet one day. They get married. Soon, they find disappointment because their expectations have been misrepresented, realized once life together got underway. They ignore it. Twenty years later, they don’t understand each other any better. It all started when they were both little though. Helplessly, their own little ones continue the same disappointments under the same sets of misrepresented expectations.
Eventually it will stop…
©April 2019, Isabel Alvear
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