The difference

Raising girls and boys – I have found, more lately – are two completely different tasks.

Ive heard it, read it, been told it, and even seen it to a certain extent about how different it can be, and could be, and might even be…but recently Ive been noticing things, filling in the blanks, and pulling things from the past, finally being able to connect the dots on things I do and do not understand.  And its finally made some sense.

Girls and boys?  Are different.

I always feel the need to add a disclaimer when I write things, but I don’t think I am going to this time.  I love the kids, equally, the end.

I can easily poke more fun at the boys, and find the humor in things they do…knowing where they come from, and seeing things differently, watching them, like watching myself.  But when it comes to Madison, its like handling a thin glass bottle, that is prone to shatter at any moment.  Shes a girl…shes different…my mind screams.  And its true.  But the differences go much further beyond physical.

The physical differences are obvious.  While Madi tries and keeps up well with the boys, shes also a girl, and there are no two way streets about this.  With Molly…this was also obvious, atleast now.  While she put out the tomboy persona, the rough and tough, outward…deep down she was a girl.  And it was obvious.  She could dress up all day long in her pink dresses, plaster sparkles an inch thick, or wear just her underwear and a backwards baseball cap – and you could still see that deep down, she was a girl.

Its more than appearances.  More than what meets the eye.  Girls and boys, are wired differently.

It seems that somehow, somewhere, someway…boys lost the connection, or never really got the connection between this – and that.  The connection between action and consequence.  If its fun?  Do it.  If its dangerous, its fun, so do it.  The connection doesn’t appear to be made, and if it is, its over looked.  If the tree is tall and you want to climb it – then do it.  There is no second thought about it.  No planning, preparing, mapping, scoping, or thinking it out.  There is no “What if” and there is no fear about what might happen if you were to fall from a tree – because that thought is as far as can be.

With girls – it seems the connection is made.  Its born into them.  They are twenty and one steps ahead of the game, and before they climb that tree (which many will) there is already a back up plan in their minds.  Formed, and concreted.  They don’t mask the fact that they could fall from the tree and get hurt, instead they seize the fear, compile a plan, and put it into action all within two seconds of spotting a tree.

It’s a no wonder we men cant seem to understand the female race.

There are things that I know the kids were born with, because they are things that I never taught them.  Things they weren’t taught.  Things they just knew, somehow.  Things that were born into them.  Built with the gene.  The difference between girls and boys.

When Molly was little, her imagination would run wild.  Somehow – without being taught, or told – she would create and make worlds of her own.  Worlds with great detail.  Worlds that were all her, and all hers.  And all about her.  Worlds that had her personality written across them.  Yet no one taught her.  No one told her how to do this.  She took blank paper, and created worlds that would intrigue anyone.

As Madison and Dylan both get older – the differences are more and more obvious in more than one way.  Madison seems to have reached the age in her life where suddenly, somehow, she knows how to do whatever she sets her mind to…without being taught.  She knows what she needs to know, when she needs to do it.  But her brother – cant imitated her actions.  Madison could survive, if left on her own.  She would figure it out.  Might not be the best of situations, but she would scrape by.  Shes learned the basics, by watching, and imitating.  By learning from living.

Dylan on the other hand, couldn’t cook to save his life.  Literally.  He is worse than me when it comes to this, and when it comes to reading a recipe and following directions, he is completely clueless.  He hasn’t learned, hasn’t been taught, and it wasn’t built into him to learn by watching.  His mind doesn’t grasp the fact that he can learn this by watching…or that he even needs to learn!  Or watch!

He can scale trees, build just about anything you would ask, aim and fire a gun successfully, take anything apart, and do other things that Madison wouldn’t dream of doing…but he cant cook a meal to save him.

Im not saying that cooking is one gender role or the other…Im just saying that its funny to watch them grown, and see the things they navigate towards.  To see how one thing – can be done two different ways.  To see how their minds work – in completely different ways.  And to realize that yes…what has been said is true – boys and girls are different.

And watching them change in front of me has been beyond interesting.

Its been like watching myself grow up all over again.  Its explained things that I have seen, but not understood.  Its fit things together in my mind, and made me realize that they are different…and its ok.


One comment

  1. You are doing well Dave, really.

    I have been away for months and months and it is going to take me awhile to catch up!


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