"What for?", I inquired, knowing it couldn't be too bad, because to date my boy is a really good boy. "Some girl kept kicking me and wouldn't stop, so I said STOP, and I got in trouble."
"Why was that girl kicking you?"
"I don't know", he replied mystified, "I don't even know her." Well, I know why that little hussy was kicking him, but I kept it to myself, assuming soon enough big beast will learn about the joys and pains of elementary school love.
Raising human beings is such an awesome responsibility. Having a boy and a girl adds a little challenge to it. I cannot treat all situations the same with them. They have different needs, different personalities and different challenges.
With my boy I think about making him a good, strong man. A man who is respectful to women and respectful to himself. I think about all the sexualized images of women he will see and how to handle internet porn (thank goodness we're not there yet). I think about his sweeter than sweetness, and how to teach him to have a little tough shell around him that can provide a barrier from the hurts of the outside world, but that will allow his beautiful, kind self to shine through. I think about teaching him how to be a good man, without having a man in the house.
I also have to think practical. How do you teach a boy to pee with a morning erection? (Yep, had to deal with that one. Thanks to a quick call to a neighbor's husband we found an answer.) Masturbation? Check, we had a brief, round about talk about that. Soon we'll have to have that big ole' sex talk, but thank goodness, at this point I haven't seen any signs that point to the boy liking girls. He actually seems to shy away when a girl turns on her charm. I breath a sigh of relief, and gather information from other mothers & fathers on how to raise a boy in this crazy, sexualized, lookist society.
Little beast is already interested in boys. She is DRAMATIC and bull headed. Yet, somehow I need to treat her to embrace her sensuality and use her powers for good. How to treat herself with respect, and not squelch her fire. I will repeat for myself, not....squelch.....her....fire.
In the end, I remind myself, these kids have their own karmic destiny to work out. Some of it, unfortunately, will be based on choices that I have made. Some of it fortunately, will be based on what my village and I teach them, but mostly their lives are created by their own sweet selves. When I remember this parenting becomes less the chore of shaping and molding, and more the adventure, discovering, guiding them down the river of life. It is the beauty, the wonder, the burden, the tangled web of single motherhood.