gender roles will be the death of me
mom and i were riding in the car and she was telling me how my brother had told her last night that Nicole was just hanging out with herself after she came home from school, telling him that she would do her home later that evening. so the mother in me who helped raised (and still helps to raise) my younger sister asks why didn’t he hang out with her then if he was able to say that it was sad that she was hanging out alone?
and my mom goes
well you two are different, you’re brother is a boy. you two are different. (at least she didn’t say i’m a girl!)
and my mother and i are learning together - i learn to be patient, to recognize that her values have been constructed by gender shit and sexism in a lot of big ways and i have been privileged with access to unlearn that stuff. and my mom is, too, in her own ways.
so i tell her that it doesn’t matter what gender you are - it’s about hanging out with a kid. Kids aren’t difficult, kids most of the time are really fantastic. i know that Nicole is fantastic. we have learned a lot about being around one another; she respects my needs and i respect hers. kids need supportive attention and affirmations. and just like we need space, they need space too. and sometimes they just need to be in our company to feel connected to us. when i am studying i let Nicole know and she will respect that - she’ll still come and share stories with me but she knows how to read when i am busy and need to be focused. kids are smart - they read bodies well.
it is a learning process.
and my brother is capable of it.
some folks are nurturing by nature - i don’t believe that i am one of those people but i do believe that i have learned. and i learning more every single day.
i refuse to let my brother’s male entitlement get in the way of him supporting my sister on terms that are good for the both of them - not just hanging out when he feels guilty or absent.
i understand that he’s been through lots of shit too - a lot of men have, keeping them from opening up, being vulnerable with others but you gotta try. you seriously gotta try.
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