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Just a Toy

It’s odd the things you start to think about when you’re a parent. It gets even odder when you have sons and daughters, and the different conflicting mindsets that begin to take hold.

Things I never would’ve given a second thought to beyond a ‘meh’, are now things that occupy my mind when I’m pushing a double stroller through the mall.

My eldest son, whom I refer to as the Bear, was walking in front of me while we were at Toys R Us a couple weeks ago. He was dead-set on finding the animal toys that he barely gave a periphery glance to anything else on the shelves. Yet, as we walked past the Barbie section, he looked up at me said –

“Those are girls toys”.

We moved on, and I didn’t think about it for hours. I didn’t think about it again until I was holding my daughter and sitting with her on the rocker, as she tried to take my glasses off my face.

“Those are girls toys”.

Now, I know I had never referred to anything as a girl toy in front of my son, but I’ve definitely thought it. I’ve thought it, I’ve been of that mindset, and it’s only now, at the ripe old age of 35, that I realize how wrong it is.

No one should be limited by the sex they were born to; people should be limited only by their imaginations, their ambitions and their own motivations.

My daughter can play with any damn toy she wants to, and society won’t define her interests. It won’t be weird if my daughter wants to play with trucks instead of Barbies. And it won’t be weird if my sons play with Barbies instead of trucks.

They can be who they choose to be, and my old way of thinking won’t stop them from that.

I’m supposed to be the one to teach my children, but most days, it seems like they’re the ones educating me.

“Daddy, are these girl toys?”

“No, Bear. There’s no such thing. These are just toys”

-Because I Can.

Quote of the Day

“I love to be individual, to step beyond gender.”

– Annie Lennox