Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A tough talk

This afternoon, the girls and I made a run through the McD's drive through... because if the McDs employees don't see me every day, they get concerned about my welfare and file a missing person's report.

Okay not really. Actually, I've been eating very healthy and light. Not because of super strong will power or anything like that... veggies and lean foods are really what has been sounding the most appetizing. Of all the foods on earth, SALAD is what I crave all the time. Today's swing through the drive through was for a much needed drink after working at the "new" house.

As the person working the window handed me my drink, Maddie, ever taking the world around her in, asked very innocently, "Is that a boy or a girl?"

Terrified that the person may hear Maddie, I very quickly rolled my window up and sped away! They were pretty busy so I am almost certain the person was too distracted to hear Maddie's question.

And while my mind raced for the best answer to give my 3 yr. old about what the world would call "gender confusion", she asked again.

"Mom, was that a boy or a girl?"

Oh dear, I thought. When the nurses at the hospital 3 and a half years ago handed me my beautiful baby girl, they told me how to clean her cord stump. They told me about baths, and nail trims, and nursing, and colic, and shaken baby syndrome, and swaddling. They never told me anything about how to answer this particular question.

But it had to be answered. And it had to be answered by me. And it had to be answered right there in the car.

"Sweet heart, I'm not really sure. But if we ever don't know if a person is a boy or a girl, we should never ask in front of them because it could hurt their feelings. Okay?"

"Okay. But was it a boy or a girl?"

"I think it was a girl who wanted to look like a boy. But I'm not sure."

"So it was a boy?" Maddie asked, clearly not understanding.

By now, I am wondering how in depth I need to explain this topic at this point. I certainly do not want to confuse her further. My main concern was really that she develop the right attitude.... yes, I absolutely want my children to understand that boys are supposed to be boys and girls are supposed to be girls. But what had me feeling at a loss for the right words was that I really truly do not want her to see people who choose to do things that we know are not what God wants as gross or less than us or not worthy of being treated politely. What I really want to avoid is creating a little snob who tells adults about all the things they are doing that are contrary to the Bible.

Sin is sin to God, right? And though it is true that certain sins are more likely to turn my stomach than others, I have to remind myslef how God feels about my stubbornness. He grouped it together with idol worship:

I Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

And that is just naming one specific sin. I love that old quote, "People are not bad, they are broken". Is it theologically correct? Maybe not; we really are all bad. But in the way we look at one another, I want to choose to see people are broken and not bad.

"So it was a boy?" Maddie had last asked.

"No. I'm pretty sure it was a girl, but she wanted to look and act like a boy. That is sad. I feel sad for her."

"Why is that sad? Maybe she likes being a boy." Maddie said.

"It's sad because God made her a girl, but she is not happy to be a girl. I am so glad I am a girl. God wanted me to be a girl and I would never want to be a boy or look like a boy or act like a boy. God made Daddy a boy... now he is a man. He would never ever want to be a girl!!! God wanted you and Eden to be girls, and that's what you are! It's great to be a girl! I am happy with how God made me!"

As I said that last sentence, I thought of all the times I have been hung up over some physical feature about myself that I didn't like. *sigh* The girls need a better example than that!

Maybe I should have said more... or maybe less. I would love to hear input from more experienced Moms. How would you have handled this?

Time will tell how much of our conversation sunk in, but Maddie seemed satisfied with that answer. As we drove home, I thought about the fact that a generation ago, this conversation would probably never have needed to take place. And now, not only is the confusion seen in every place and on every TV channel, but my remarks here could even be seen as "wrong" by half of America. Even so, at one time in America, a large portion of the main stream population thought that owning a slave was perfectly acceptable. There were probably people during that dark time in American history who wondered if the American people would ever wake up to how evil that was, and change course. And thankfully, eventually, they did. So when I feel discouraged about how acceptable abortion and other moral atrocities are in our country, I have hope that we can indeed turn the tide because in at least that one area, we did it in the past. Whatever may be happening on Capitol Hill these days, I am not ready to give up on America.



kauffeegrl said...

Thank you for that encouraging and wise choice of words today Kayte. I have been sick to my stomach at what has been going on the last two days, and while as Christians we realize that God is in control of everything, even our healthcare, it's pretty hard to watch. I've been so tempted to use my blog as my own personal soap box to viscerate the president and the people who helped him create this horrific attack on our freedom, but really, what is the point? Abraham Lincoln once said "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Trying hard to stay postive in Penfield

Michelle said...

Sad that we have to deal with situations like that, but I think you handled it very well!

When my son Robert was about 4, we were walking in a parking lot when my son spotted a girl all dressed up in the "gothic" style. He looked at her and fairly loudly stated "She looks weird."

At first I was embarrassed, but then I thought, "Hey, she's dressing like that to make some sort of impression. She has to know deep down how dumb she looks." Well, she did hear, but she laughed as she got into her car. I gguess a cute 4 year old can get away with saying just about anything.

I told my son, "Yes, she looked weird, but that's not a nice thing to say about someone. Please promise me that you will never date a girl that looks anything like that." He, of course, agreed and I will certainly hold him to it!

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

I'm sorry Kayte, but that was so funny, Matthew says stuff like that all the time. I tell Matthew all the time that Mommy "just doesn't know". He has the habit of asking old ladies how old they are then pronouncing that's "really old"

Joyful Blessings said...

You always do a fine job at answering your girls Kayte, it made me think back to a time when Holly was barley 3 and we were at Fedco shopping, she saw a Barbie doll there that was a punk rocker Barbie, when we got to the car, she said, Mommy you did not want me to have that doll because she was not a Christian? Right Mommy? I just said "yes" that's right.
At the time I thought it so funny she would say that, we had only been in church a few months.