This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with my 11-year-old son.
I don’t remember how it came up, but as we were sitting in McDonalds between picking up his new glasses and an afternoon soccer game, he said, “You’re not a girly-girl mom.” And if that wasn’t enough, he continued: “My sister gets that from you.”
My first reaction was laughter. And as I chuckled, I asked him what the definition of a “girly-girl mom” is. Or, more specifically, how did he know I wasn’t one?
He thought for a while. Then he said, “You never wear dresses or skirts.” (True, except for the occasional wedding). “And you don’t put on a lot of makeup.” (Who knew he even noticed these kinds of things?!)
I told him about my very first job out of college: working as an inbound phone service rep, I was required to wear skirts/dresses and nylons. (No one ever actually SAW me, so how stupid was that?)
My son looked intrigued, probably because he’s only ever known my work as the owner and ‘boss’ of Leader Motorcycle, and as such it’s true – I have never worn a dress or skirt to work (leather chaps and jacket, yes).
Then he said, “You didn’t have dolls or Barbies.” (Which is also true, but I didn’t remember telling him that. I did have a huge inventory of stuffed animals, most of them with names, whom I used to make up stories about.)
But those are outward things, physical things. I wanted to know if he sensed anything deeper. (This is a kid who compared our greedy politicians to the fall of the Roman Empire when he wasn’t yet ten. In other words, he’s a smart cookie – and surprisingly astute at times.)
So I asked again.
“You ride a motorcycle.”
Ah, yes. The only kid on his soccer team, at his Awana classes, and in his entire school whose mom has picked him up (or dropped him off) on a motorcycle. Personally, I think he’s better for it!
I guess that means I am decidedly NOT a “girly-girl”… and my “tom boy” daughter is (apparently) following in my footsteps! But that’s a story for another day…