So, imagine my surprise when, just this past Thursday, I turned to my son and said, "it's time to man up." I was instantly aware that I had uttered something that completely went against my values. Noah had been scared of getting needles, had been freaking out for over half an hour at that point, and there had been no end in sight. But still...'man up'? Just because he's a boy, he isn't allowed to be scared? After a moment, I added, "Don't you think there have been times I've needed to man-up and do what I needed to?"
Wait. What? That just made it worse. What was I saying? Pushing my faux-pas out of my mind so I could deal with the issue at hand, I flipped my approach and started praising Noah for how hard he was trying to calm down. The poor thing was doing his best, but after 45 minutes of trying, we finally left the doctor's office, vaccination free.
I was till bothered by what I had said, though. As if being scared were girly and being brave were inherently male. Now that my mind was free to focus on the concept of 'manning up,' I started to get mad at the phrase. Every wife I know can attest to the fact that she's chugged flu medication and still made it to her myriad of appointments while her husband gets knocked out over a cold. As a matter of fact, my husband, Greg, complained of a bad headache DURING MY LABOR with Owen. When the contraction was done tearing through my body, I bit out, "Oh, I'm sorry, Sweetie. Would you like me to get up so you can lie down?" I didn't actually say the curse words in my head, but I'm pretty sure he heard them anyway. So, why isn't the saying "woman up," "fem it up," or something like that?
But that's not the point. I think both genders are awesome and, being the proud aunt of a transgender child, I don't put much emphasis on either. So, my act of lagniappe today is to be sure that I am more mindful of how I address gender roles. I want my boys to respect woman as strong and to respect themselves enough to be emotional. I want them to see people as people, to remember that everyone wants love and respect, and that we all deserve to be treated kindly for who we are and the talents we possess. And, for when times get tough, I want them to "woman up." :)