September 2017

Painting your picture

As I hold you while you cry
I understand your sadness and quietly sigh
Over time this hurt shall fade away
Although the lesson learnt will always stay

I’ll revive a memory of when I started high school
I didn’t know anyone and felt such a fool
Watching my peers together having their fun
As I sat on my own, just wanting to run

I noticed their style was just as I had seen
In the latest fashion magazines
They were labelled by most as the people to know
As they laughed and joked, putting on a show

I envied the way they laughed out loud
Attracting the attention they wanted from the crowd
I could never imagine acting like that
As I nervously hid behind my hat

I was the only one who could comprehend why
From the very first day, I chose to be shy
I was separated from where I used to fit in
Totally lost, not knowing where to begin

I thought of how everything used to be
Hanging out with old friends, being openly me
I was secure, contented and never felt scared
But when visiting the past, it made me aware

I liked myself when I was with them
Feeling comfortable allowed me to be as I am
I will not fit in until I’m prepared to end
My fear of trying to make a new friend

I made a decision to start the next day
Being totally myself instead of hiding away
Showing the optimism, confidence and self respect in me
If I can’t believe that, how can others possibly see?

The morning school bell rang and while heading to class
I greeted one of those girls as she casually strolled past
Then during our sports session she called out my name
To join in her team for a netball game

I completely let go and felt so free
Giving everyone the chance to get to know me
When courageously displaying my positive side
My lonely situation was soon rectified

Every since that day, I made a vow
To be true to myself and never forget how
The way you perceive yourself in all that you do
Is ultimately how others will see you too

To save you from the sorrow you may be dealt
I wish I could paint a picture of all to be felt
But it’s impossible because the reason we’re here
Is to discover ourselves and conquer our fears

But although your journey is a path you need to walk
I am always here to listen if you ever need to talk
Every step of the way, in all you go through
I will feel privileged to share in all that you do
Through the laughter, celebrations, disappointment and fears
You are a gift I will treasure throughout the years

After living as I have, I can honestly say
My child, you are so beautiful in your own special way
Waiting on the other side of the trials you go through
Will be a transformed, unique and stronger you

 

© Kylie Lehman

“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*

I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.

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* Gloria Steinem