Megali - adjective, noun - adjective 1. great or big in Greek -noun 1.. A nickname derived from my first and middle names

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Of things that will never be

Okay, let me get this out of the way first:  I love my sons and would not trade them for anything.  This post is merely a reflection of my thought that it would be nice to have a daughter as well.  Meaning, in addition to, not instead of.

If Slim had been a girl, we would have named him Nora Rachel.

Had Curly been a girl, his name would have been Sarah Gwyneth.

And because I make R play the name game with me, we know what we would name an accidental (which is the only way a future child is happening) son or daughter.  I'll keep those names close, just in case an accident happens, that way their name would be as private as Slim's and Curly's.

What's got me thinking of daughters?

I suppose it's the time of year.  Friend's daughters are having their dance recitals and I feel a tad envious.  When I was a girl, I took ballet, jazz and modern dance from instructors who, while I didn't entirely recognize it at the time, created a caring atmosphere that inspired love of movement, body confidence, and respect.  It makes me sad that I will likely never enroll a child of mine in dance or watch them perform in a dance recital. 

I've discussed my thoughts on this with R and with friends.  Despite being a parent who encourages her sons to break beyond typical gender roles, I do have my limits.  Unless Slim or Curly approach us about wanting to take dance lessons, I won't sign them up.  I recognize the societal view of a male dancer.

To which I argue:

Photo credit:

Mikhail Baryshnikov was considered a sex symbol, which he finds an "illusion from the stage." But damn if there isn't something powerful and inherently sexy about an athletic body.

Still.  Although there are resources like the blog, Boys and Ballet, that seek to highlight male success in dance and eliminate, or at least ease, the stereotypes boys taking ballet face.  Yet.  Even knowing enough football players have taken ballet, "it wasn't news anymore." 

All of those things do not compel me to subject my guys to potential mocking for what is nothing more than my desire to have a dancer.  To me, that would be no better than forcing them to only play with trucks when they also wanted to play with baby dolls, or making them wear dresses instead of shorts without their consent.  I cannot force my will on my children. 

Yes, it's hard for me, as someone who believes in blurring the lines between traditional male and female roles to acknowledge the hold sexism has on me and the limits I will set as a mother.  I do somewhat bemoan the possibilities lost with no Nora or Sarah. Ultimately, my wanting Slim and Curly to know how to sew, change a flat tire, make a meal, and build something is so that they have an abundance of tools to become awesome.  And become the person they want.  Not what I want.

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