Saturday, 24 November 2012

What will I be?

(c) Brute Labs
On the way to a soft-play venue today (terrible weather = trip to a building made of tin filled with more scramble nets and obstacles than the finale of the Krypton Factor) the children were having a discussion with their cousins about what boys and girls are able to do.  After 5 minutes on the merits, strengths, and abilities of girls and boys (including "girls can do sport if they are as strong as a boy" and "I'm never getting married!"), it was agreed that actually they can do the same things be it football, work, raising children, or the type of vehicle they fly/sail/drive.  With the children's ages ranging between four and seven-years-old, I was impressed that they had raised a topic, debated it openly (and forcefully at times) then come to an agreement.  

Given it was a discussion between two girls and two boys, I was especially delighted that they came to the conclusion that they did.  And then I remembered that children have an in-built sense of justice and fairness.  Whether it's a board game, handing out sweets, portion-size at dinner time, or discussing who could be an astronaut; they each want to be treated the same and see it is only fair that others are too.  What open-minded, smart, fantastic little people they are - I hope they carry this into their adult lives.

I am hopeful for this generation; they are the children for whom no stigma is attached to families where both parents pursue fulfilling careers, where mum has the more demanding / important job, or where dad stays at home to support mum's career.  Whatever our opinions about family arrangements and career decisions that are different to our own, these children see them as normal.  And in this I see that my son knows he can be an engineer, a teacher, a builder, a developer or a stay-at-home dad.  And I see that my daughter knows she can be an engineer, a teacher, a builder, a developer or a stay-at-home mum.  They can be anything, equally.  Except as it stands today, some 'grown ups' have decided that girls cannot grow up to be a Bishop in the Church of England.  I think they could learn a thing or two from these kids.   


Soundtrack: Que Sera Sera - Doris Day

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