My 4 year old right now inhabits a world where there are as many girls on his soccer team as boys, where all of their voices chime in eagerly during their preschool science lessons (today’s was baking apple muffins as a class). This afternoon, he had a boy and a girl over to dig happily with shovels and construction trucks in our backyard.
I try my best to avoid labeling things as “girls” and “boys.” This is obviously not always possible. My boys love their construction trucks, toy strollers, and soccer balls equally. I was stopped short when during a play date my son had last year his friend, a girl, asked me to see all of our “girl stuff.” I responded, “Well, we all play together. Let’s go on a tour of the play room so you know where everything is.” (They spent most of that play date playing with a cash register and creating a large collage with stickers and chalk).
I am conscious that I although I am raising boys, I want them to grow up treating girls – their playmates, fellow students, colleagues, friends- with respect and as equals. That’s how I am raising my voice for girls, today- the international day of the girl – and every day.