November 9, 2010

Guns and glitter...

Studies have shown that 75% of the children living in this house will choose guns and gears over anything glittery when it’s playtime, while 25% just want to make an elegant dessert for their stuffed elephant.
Scott, Zach and Daniel are boys through and through.  They build stuff, break stuff, shoot stuff, grunt, don’t express their feelings, wonder why I’m always painting rooms new colors, discuss things that make me queasy, don't care about their clothes, smack talk during video games, and are truly bewildered by all things feminine.

Audra, on the other hand, is a sensitive, glitzy, butterfly-loving, high-heel-wearing, stuffed-animal-collecting, nurturing, twirling, affectionate wisp of a thing who dances her way through life, fussing with her hair and tending to everyone’s needs.
We don’t try to push them into each other’s worlds.  Boys are boys, and should be.  And girls are girls and should be.  In the nature/nurture debate, we recognize that our boys like to emulate their dad, but we believe they are also already hard-wired to spit for distance, compare muscles, and love dirt.  And Audra tries to imitate me, but she doesn’t need to try.  She is already designed to roll her eyes and sigh at the boys’ icky habits, be emotionally aware, and love things that sparkle.
So we let them be who the Lord made them to be.  To be sure, you’ll see them put a foot into the other world on occasion, but always in a masculine way for the boys and a feminine one for Audra.  Our older son Scott will help me in the kitchen when I need it, but he loads a dishwasher for maximum efficiency, not protection of sentimental pieces, unless they’re pointed out to him.  The twin boys own stuffed animals, but they like to shoot them out of cannons and make videos of them broadcasting the news.  And yes, while Audra did design and build two robots, they were intended to help with cleaning and cooking.

Others may insist on exposing their children to the ways and toys of the other gender, but we don’t.  I love my boys, and am thankful for their willingness to kill bugs, pick up slimy unidentified things, defend and protect our home and family, and am enjoying watching them each become real men like their dad.  And I love my girly-girl daughter, and am enjoying the companionship of one who understands the importance of coordinating accessories, of keeping the house looking nice, and who shows compassion for those who are hurting, offering them a pretend dinner on a lovely platter. We Wilburs say don’t fight a perfect design.

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