Tuesday, June 11, 2013

sugar and spice and everything nice...

This morning, as my daughter was getting dressed, she put on her "fairy princess ballerina" skirt. She twirled in it for a bit. I wanted to take a quiet morning walk by myself, but she insisted on joining me. I put her in the stroller. As we passed some cars, she pretended to shoot them, with magical sparkles.
3 yo is a tomboy, a younger sister of two older brothers. But 3 yo is also a girly-girl, walking up to other moms to show her nail polish, in pink, and explain that it's her favorite color. Does she do what society expects a girl to do, or does she defy expectations?

I worry about my boys quite a bit. Will they grow up to be decent human beings? Will they get along with others? Will they be able to sit down a learn whatever it is that they need to learn? Will they suppress their individuality just enough to hear other's point of view? I tend not to worry about these areas with my daughter. She makes friends every time we go to the park. She gets along well with everyone. She loves to listen and follow directions. She asks for projects. She wants to know those Hebrew words on the CDs and what they mean. She asks about letters and numbers.

But then, maybe, I should be worried. While the boys will naturally bristle at having to follow anyone, my girl might not speak up in order to fit in. I joke that she is a perfect example of how unschooling works, learning naturally and at her pace. But she is also a perfect example of why girls succeed in school: she will suppress her desires long enough to complete whatever everyone else is doing. And not having a strong internal voice is a recipe for disaster later, when adolescence kicks in. (I am reading Reviving Ophelia for the first time, so these thoughts are reaching the surface).

So who is she, this daughter of mine? A strong-willed girl, or a goody-two-shoes? Time will tell. All that I know is that she is the girl who catches isopods with her bare hands, names them, and finds them a happy home on the front lawn.

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