Aug 29, 2013 - By Clair McFarlandI know girls can be complicated, because I was one
These words are being written on Friday night.
I'm writing this column a little early --so shame on me for shunning the potential for Earth-shaking (or political, scandalous, disastrous, or otherwise ordinary) events --but by Monday, my powers of focus will be too far from me to allow editorializing.
See, on Monday, The Husband and I will find out whether the twins we are expecting are boys or girls.
Within this proverbial oven of mine, our twins have been cooking well --and quickly. I know this because people no longer say that they've seen me "running," but that they've seen me "jogging." Soon witnesses will report that they have seen me "waddling away from a watermelon heist."
But wait: that watermelon is actually a pair of identicals, which, if we care about gender at all, forces us to address the impossibility of winding up with a male/female Skywalker duo --a la fraternal twins.
That's OK with me: I'm not a nerd. (Here The Husband is denied a quote.)
Because whatever duo I'm packing belongs entirely to one gender or the other, herein lies an opportunity for an exploration of the gender dichotomy. Those of you who claim to "not care" what little aliens may be joining your household in the near or far future may tune out now if you so desire.
We have two sons, ages 3 and 1, who are safely outside the confines of my belly. They --in short --rock.
Yes, their tendency for hyper, physical problem-solving is a little out of my realm of expertise. To be fair, I have never punched anyone, and am therefore in over my head, at times, with two boys.
However, my boys find such actions therapeutic, and even grow more affectionate toward one another after having staged a "Braveheart" battle in my living room.
They'll have these issues throughout their lives --despite my fervent discipline to the contrary --and will only be able to suppress them through basic knowledge of etiquette and a growing respect for the rights of others.
They'll always be guys.
And, sure, there's the possibility that they could go off the rails and Charlie Sheen up their lives one day, but I'm praying that won't happen. And, the odds have it that they'll be "chill" teenagers and then productive members of society.
Here in Wyoming, we have plenty of chances to see that girls are very different from boys. If you think we two sexes are interchangeable, then consider how few men it takes to get a snowmobile unstuck, or how much one appreciates the soft voice of a female OB nurse when in labor. We are different.
Little girls are less interested in punching one another. They are fashionable, they pay attention to boundaries of empathy, and they are said to potty train more easily.
Girls probably rock, too, and everyone I know who has girls seems to adore them, as I know I would if I had my own.
But teenage girls are more complicated. I know. I was one.
This would be a good time to quote a band called Simple Plan: "Young girls dying to be on TV; they won't stop till they've reached their dreams: Diet pills, surgery, Photoshopped pictures in magazines telling them how they should be. Is everybody going crazy?"
And there you have it. If you want the fearsome truth: I'm scared to raise girls in a world that values Kardashians and cosmetics more than strength of character and sincerity.
I'm also aware that it's a modern no-no to expect anything but the health of your babies and your self, but this issue is a prominent one.
Teenage girls are not pressed with the same expectations for productivity as boys are, but with a greater portion of societal image training --flashing in their make-upped eyes.
It's tough to overcome this emphasis on people and pictures that aren't even real. (Anyone seen Britney Spears without makeup lately?) In order to emerge from this crazy emphasis on the superficial, a girl needs a strong support system of family and friends who can remind her that it's not the price of her clothes, the measurements of her figure, or the falsified contours of her face that make her valuable --but the work of her hands and the content of her heart.
If these are girls, inside my (proverbial) oven, then I will do anything to help them through the real oven -- a flighty world of posters and mirrors. The heartache of watching two girls endure such an oven would be rough, but it would be worth it. Along the way, I would surely find out how much having girls rocks.