A half-eaten bird’s egg: the story of my daughter’s first crush

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My 5yo met me at school pick-up with a half-eaten bird’s egg the other day. It had been given to her by a Grade 2 (I think) boy.

Years from now I’m going to tease her about this boy, whom she played with almost every day for about 2 weeks earlier this year. He started coming up to her after school and just standing around her, and then she started to look for him after school so she could wave bye. She wouldn’t say anything, just wave. It was the cutest thing ever, except she was also my baby girl and so, after a solid week of hearing about him, I told her I wanted to know his name and class. At least.

I needn’t have bothered. Like any summertime fling (okay it was more like autumn), their friendship fizzled out and they stopped playing together. In fact, the kid started ignoring him, even when he would come over to say hi. I was a little mortified by how rude she was being! (Let this be a warning to all future potential suitors.)

I told her she was not allowed to be rude to anyone, and that was that… until this episode that will henceforth be known as “The Half-eaten Bird’s Egg”. As we were walking out of school that afternoon, he ran up to make sure she still had it. I asked him if it was his lunch, and he said yes but it’s okay because he had a few of them. (I hope he didn’t give them all away to different girls because I would not be cool with that.)

This time, the kid didn’t ignore him when he said bye.

‘For My Daughter’ by Sarah McMane

“Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” – Clementine Paddleford

Never play the princess when you can
be the queen:
rule the kingdom, swing a scepter,
wear a crown of gold.
Don’t dance in glass slippers,
crystal carving up your toes —
be a barefoot Amazon instead,
for those shoes will surely shatter on your feet.

Never wear only pink
when you can strut in crimson red,
sweat in heather grey, and
shimmer in sky blue,
claim the golden sun upon your hair.
Colors are for everyone,
boys and girls, men and women —
be a verdant garden, the landscape of Versailles,
not a pale primrose blindly pushed aside.

Chase green dragons and one-eyed zombies,
fierce and fiery toothy monsters,
not merely lazy butterflies,
sweet and slow on summer days.
For you can tame the most brutish beasts
with your wily wits and charm,
and lizard scales feel just as smooth
as gossamer insect wings.

Tramp muddy through the house in
a purple tutu and cowboy boots.
Have a tea party in your overalls.
Build a fort of birch branches,
a zoo of Legos, a rocketship of
Queen Anne chairs and coverlets,
first stop on the moon.

Dream of dinosaurs and baby dolls,
bold brontosaurus and bookish Belle,
not Barbie on the runway or
Disney damsels in distress —
you are much too strong to play
the simpering waif.

Don a baseball cap, dance with Daddy,
paint your toenails, climb a cottonwood.
Learn to speak with both your mind and heart.
For the ground beneath will hold you, dear —
know that you are free.
And never grow a wishbone, daughter,
where your backbone ought to be.

(h/t A Mighty Girl)

For my 4yo – may she never be afraid to take on the world. And for me.

A commercial that calls for us to ‘Inspire Her Mind’

Ads like this one and toys like Goldieblox are the beginning of a new trend (for lack of a better word) in girls’ education, and it’s a wonderful thing. I’m excited to witness the certain evolution of gender stereotypes and education in the coming years, and wouldn’t it be funny if, despite my vaguely arty tendencies and ineptitude for math, my 4yo eventually decides to become a physicist or something.

Hopes for my little girl

I’m not kidding – I really do hope my kid grows up to do great things one day. For a long time, I’ve thought that if I have a boy, I want him to become a good man, and if I have a girl, I want her to change the world.

It’s very unfair, I know, but I really think it’s so hard to raise good men these days. I don’t think it’s that much easier with girls, but I guess it’s a reflection of what I feel the world needs today.

The world needs good men because there are so few of them. And we need good women who will change the world because it’s time they stepped up and into the spotlight (even more).

I hope my daughter grows up to be kind, compassionate, beautiful and intelligent, and then I hope that in her own way, big or little, she will one day change the world. And I really, really hope I don’t screw it up. No pressure.