Tuesday, April 19, 2011

To my future daughter-in-law

Or son-in-law, whichever. Love is love, all God's children.

I hope to raise a man who is kind and respectful, firm in his beliefs, gentle of spirit. A man who will raise you up rather than tear you down. A man who knows how to admit when he is wrong.

As a feminist mother raising a son, I plan to teach him that girls can play with trucks and boys can play with dolls. He will learn to treat people with respect, to keep his hands to himself, that it's not okay to use his size to overpower someone smaller and weaker than himself.

I want to instill in him a sense of wonder, the value of fairness, a kindness toward all. I hope he inherits my organizational skills and his father's knack for balancing a checkbook. If I have a say in things he will put the toilet seat down, hang up his clothes, and never drink straight from the carton.

But oh, there is one thing you will probably hate me for, one thing that you will bitch about to your friends when he's not around, I just know it. You'll ask yourself how any sensible woman could ever raise a child with such a horrendous lack of propriety. And really, it was an accident. I never meant for him to connect the two, you see, but the only place he's still and distracted enough for me to cut his fingernails is in his high chair. At the dinner table. Yeah. I'm really sorry about that. Really.

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