When I was pregnant with Bebito, I was told at our initial scan that he was a girl. I cried with relief. Daft right? Hang with me a second though….all the oldest children in my family have been women for generations. I felt like this was part of the tradition continued. But it was more than that. I felt like I could model being a woman. That was accessible to me. I was worried I wouldn’t have the strength to raise a boy in the same way. And I was worried…peer pressure for teenage boys was far more intense than the peer pressure I felt as a teenage girl. Like I said, daft. We soon found out the technician had made a mistake and got on with things. When I was pregnant with Little Lion I had no such misgivings.
I read this article this morning and I agree that there is no such thing as a real man. The statistics about addiction, suicide, depression are sure to be mirrored in Australia.
Before Christmas I had the privilege to read Richard Flanagan’s, “The Narrow Road to the Deep South”. It is, in short, a masterpiece and it really spoke to me in spades. Not just because of the beautiful prose but because, from my own, very female perspective, it taps in to the deeper parts of male relationships. If you haven’t read it, do. And buy a copy for every man you know who would read it.
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me even a little that I’m a card carrying feminist.
But now, as a Mama to boys I am acutely aware that the MOST important thing by far, is that we know ourselves. That we understand that being “real” to our character, the voice that guides our actions is the only important thing. That it’s important to give our children the opportunity and skills to be sensitive, strong, the right amount of impulsive, love with all their heart, treat themselves and everyone else with respect, to listen to their own voice rather than be crowded with the voices of their peers, to know when to take advice but to discard said advice if it isn’t right for them, to be kind, to pursue their interests and live with respect for the resources of the earth.
We are all real people. Men. Women.