Monday, January 31, 2011

More Conversations with G - Identity

Saturday night G and I were getting ready for bed and G started praying for things that would make her look like me. These were odd things, not like blond hair or blue eyes but like marred skin (acne) or high foot arches or veins to show in her heal or hair on her arms. Just strange things which led me to begin to talk about some of the features I actually do have. One of those features was added 20 years ago this coming Dec. It is an interesting scar on my left eye caused from a car accident where I didn't wear my seat belt. It was nasty!

So each time G would pray she would do this little half hearted "humph" sound. I can't really describe it but there was something sad in her little eyes. It was almost an "I am going to ask but know it won't happen anyway" disappointed sound.

About my wreck, I told G about my belief in being indestructible at age 20 and my not wearing my seat belt which would have kept me from going through the windshield. She agreed that was pretty stupid for me to believe even when I was 20. I offered to let her see the pictures and with fear and sorrow in her eyes (which is the only look I could define) she declined my invitation. Now that is very strange in itself because G likes all things gross. But that night she was struggling with her identity, our identity and security in her family so she didn't want to see me like that.

She has not fully recovered from her identity struggle. She is still in rare form. She was mad at me last night telling me all kinds of ugly mean things. She is pulling me in and pushing me away at the same time. It is very sad to see this and know that all I can do is try to be patient (not very good at it) and love her through it. On top of all that I am getting a head cold and feeling like the pits myself which really limits my patience (just being honest).

G is a very bright and thoughtful child. She is a child though. She is being told by friends that if she is not a girly girl she is boyish. Sadly, this messes with her identity as well. I told her that not being a girly girl has nothing to do with being boyish. I pointed all the things she does that is girlish like playing with her bitty twins, barbies, little petshop toys, polly pockets etc. I also reminded her that girls wear cowboy boots and ride horses and play sports (stereotypical boy things). I explained that what you wear doesn't define you as either a girl or a boy. This age is just so black and white and she is extremely literal, anyway. She wants to be defined but isn't sure exactly how to do it. And yes we are still rocking which makes me wonder how much is coming from this.

I wish I could filter the messages she gets at school before she hears them. One little "brown" boy told everybody that he couldn't play with "white" kids. G said, "Good thing Ms. Teacher heard him." I hope Ms. Teacher handled it well. Another little boy told her that he couldn't hear girls talk to him and couldn't talk to them. To that I told her just to quit trying to talk to him. At age 6 and a bit more than 6 1/2 this stuff is major. I really do try to take her very seriously though. So that seems to be our struggle right now: identity, hers as an individual and ours as a family from her POV.

1 comment:

Vivian M said...

Been there done that, and it is not easy. You can share with Miss G that Kerri was very boyish for awhile, and then she became much more girly girl. But she is still half and half. She likes to be a tomboy and still wear a tiara. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Sending you both huge hugs!