Lessons My Kids Teach Me

My kids love to hold me accountable and prove me wrong at every opportunity. Nothing gets by them. I’ve had to cut certain “non-expletive expletives” such as “Craptastic” and “fart sandwich” for fear of them parroting my awkward and slightly less than savory verbal quirks.

Today, we were trying to teach my oldest son to be nice to his little brother.I tried explaining that one day, Hank the Tank wouldn’t be so small and boring and would be more fun to play with when he could play with Titus in a way that was more “brothery” and “rough and tumble.”

He proceeded to ask me how brother play was different from sister play and how my daughter will play with her little sister once she’s born.

I said, “Well buddy, you and Hank can run fast outside, do more wrestley and tackley things, and get dirty playing. Girls and sissys tend to like more quiet play, reading, coloring, or…”

I looked over at my daughter, who was at that point covered head to foot in dirt and sidewalk chalk, and racing a wooden Thomas the Tank on the sliding glass door and then crashing it down into the floor…

I looked back at my son and said, “Actually, dude… Forget everything I just said. Sissy plays just like you guys. Just be gentler with her and your brother because they’re still a good deal smaller than you are, but Sis is definitely not less mighty.”

I love my dirt clod princess. And I love that her brothers don’t exclude her on the basis of her femininity. I also love that she kicks butt and takes name, not letting the boys take advantage of her or push her around. I love even more that they don’t (often) try to push her around.My boys will and do respect women. And my girls will be petite, yes, but also fearless and strong. I’ll just have to work with them on refining that strength with poise, dignity, and grace… All virtues I’m still learning to exhibit for myself.

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