we have tried our best to raise these little boys without over-powering them with gender stereotypes. it has always been a huge aggravation to me that boys are labeled as little men and wear khaki pants and play with trucks from birth and that's that. our little boys have been raised with dolls and kitchen toys. they've worn leggings from the girl's section of target and my blog has received hits from google searches for "boys wearing nail polish". they have tea parties and have fallen in love with cute little stuffed animals babies.
having said that, it has equally been a joy to see the gender differences that i do believe exist in my sons emerge and i love embracing those qualities as well. these boys bounce of the walls like nobody's business. they jump off the dressers and do complete flips onto the bed like they've been studying gymnastics for years. i don't ever remember a kind of high energy like that growing up with sisters. it's hard on one hand because i'm a grown up and my natural disposition is not to want to run around like a crazy person all day. but man when these boys pull it out of me, we have so much fun together. we have dance parties on the bed and i chase them around the house being "kissy monster." and gosh, that joy on their faces and their fit of erupting giggles when i (literally i do this) pile them up under couch cushions and then fall with all of my weight on top... it reminds me that i'm raising boys and i couldn't be happier.
it's a tricky world we live in right now, sorting through stereotypes and differences and figuring out what is and isn't okay to say and think. we're evolving as a culture and as with each evolution there is good and there is bad. of course i do not believe that as a whole girls are one way and boys are another. everyone is different and unique and there are exceptions to every "rule". i also feel strongly about not wanting to completely lose sight of embracing the uniqueness of gender differences and the beauty of being able to appreciate them for what they are.
so one one hand i'll continue to teach my boys that no matter what the other kids at school say, it's ok to have a monster high notebook and watch my little pony - but on the other hand i'll spend an evening lying on my back flinging them off my legs as far as i can and i might think to myself, "they are such boys," because they are, and it's absolutely wonderful. :)