There’s a train on the kitchen bench,
two puzzles on the study floor.
A saucepan and a wooden spoon,
next to it, a dinosaur.
Toys are left where he changed his mind,
a turning point in the play.
I never quite know what I’ll find
by the finish of the day.
But night has come, I’ll rest a while
and haven’t yet put them away.
those toys that made him squeal and smile,
echoes of his boisterous play.
I shall leave them however long:
a spotless house is not a prize.
I wait to hear delightful song
with that sparkle in his eyes.
“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.
* Gloria Steinem