When I got pregnant, part of me was hoping for a girl. I wanted to have a daughter to show her what momma had accomplished. That she had made it in a man’s industry. I wanted to show her that women can excel at anything they pour their hearts and souls into. I wanted show her that women are strong, and that the mean twitter trolls don’t bother her. I wanted to raise a daughter the same way my parents raise me- strong, independent, and kind. My parents taught two of them. You think I’m tough, you should meet my sister. I had so much to teach my future daughter.
Then I found out I was having a boy. What was I going to teach him? Sure, momma knows sports. But I’m going to let that be daddy’s thing. He’ll probably think it’s cool that mom talks sports on tv, but it wouldn’t have the same impact as it would have on my daughter? Let’s be honest, Dada is an actual athlete. I just talk about them.
Then all the stories about sexual harassment began making headlines. I’ve had my own share of #metoo stories. I’m not going to go into detail about them because my dad reads this blog. I still get sexist comments on a weekly basis. Just this week a guy told me I couldn’t have an opinion about Tennessee’s coaching search because I don’t have male genitals. Your mind starts wondering, what kind of person would say this? how did this troll have such a narrow mind? At this point, it was time to put Jace down for a nap. As I laid him down, I realized, this was what I could teach my son.
I will teach my son to be kind to women. To open doors. To pull out chairs. To say yes ma’am, no ma’am. I’ll teach him that women should have just as many opportunities in this world as he will. I’ll teach him that having a penis doesn’t make you stronger or better or more suited for any job. I’ll teach him that women can know football just as well as a man can know about gymnastics. I’ll teach him that the things you say to women have consequences, and it’s not “cool” to be a jerk.
I’m not going to criticize someone’s parenting that I don’t know, but clearly my twitter troll from last week missed these lessons.
If you have time, watch this clip of Serena William’s talking to her daughter. These are the conversations I was hoping to have with my daughter. Hopefully one day we’ll be blessed with one. But until then, I’ve still got plenty os lessons to teach my son. Want to know the best part of having a son? The bird and bees talk belongs to dada.