I have never understood why people do not find out the sex of their baby as soon as they can. I understand that you want it to be a surprise, but, my thought is, you will know at some point, so why not plan ahead? This is very Type-A of me, but as soon as I found out my second child was a girl, I went into serious planning mode.
We decorated her room pink and purple, painted flowers and butterflies, and I stocked up on every frilly dress possible. I spent a ridiculous amount of money during each phase of her life on all of the toys that I loved. I got her as many Barbies as they sold, and loved each and every Princess item on the shelf. But, each phase went by way, way too fast. Not in the sentimental way, but in the why has she grown out of baby dolls at age 4? Why would she rather me buy her lipstick and nail polish?
Growing up, I listened to Free to Be You and Me and dreamed along side Marlo Thomas of a land where girls can grow up and be whoever they want to be. They could be lawyers and doctors, just like their daddies were. And, men could do housework! Boys could be ok being anything they want to be too. They could feel good about crying or wanting a doll.
We now live in that land where women can be anything, but there is a problem. And I’m going to just say it: tv. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some t.v. But, what in the world is going on now? Do you remember when the biggest problem on tv was when Marsha offended Jan and didn’t know how to apologize? Or when the Brady kids got caught lying to their parents and they felt terrible about it? How about even Full House, where every episode ended with some sad music and a moral told to us by John Stamos? Or even cartoons where the worst thing that happened is Tom might hurt Jerry, or vice versa?
Now we live in a world where girls wear short shorts and half tank tops and cartoon characters like Spongebob get the biggest laugh insulting other cartoon characters. The kids on these shows seem to spend the entire half hour making fun of each other. The girls try to make out with whoever they can, and the goal is always to get the guy. I am missing the moral in these shows, unless I’m just going crazy. Maybe I just need Bob Saget to help me out here, but I’m pretty sure that the main goal of these shows is to show off Victoria Justice’s hair.
Sam and Craig spent an amazing day together in Champaign, IL at Craig’s alma matter, U of I. The cast of The Addams Family performed their first arena show, which looked amazing. Poor Sam got schlepped around campus for an hour after a very long bus ride while Craig to tried locate his favorite spots from college. Like all things, Craig found that things change from when we were younger. My favorite part of their day, though, was that Craig’s friends from college drove in to share in this experience with them. It is always assumed that girls will keep in touch with college friends, but it is somewhat unique when men maintain lifelong friendships. Craig and his BFF Rob have the same kind of relationship that I do with my friends. Rob calls him some old name from college or they laugh about some sort of fraternity thing and they crack up for hours. I love that he has that in his life.
The problem in looking at Free to Be You and Me today, is that while women have achieved exactly what was dreamed up for them in the 70s, they are still trying to remind men that they can be sex objects too. And men today are still fighting their own stereotypes. Gay marriage is still, for some reason, a huge issue. I see the most loving relationships between gay people and really don’t understand what the big deal is. Don’t we want people to be in loving, long-term committed relationships? Boys are still teased for wanting to do theater or anything that is not sports-related. And you certainly would not buy your friend’s new baby boy a doll.
Lauren turns 10 tomorrow. I hope that in the next 10 years things will change. I know that it is not cool to wear pigtails and overalls like Cindy Brady did when she was 10, but maybe girls can go back to being powerful without having to prove how sexy they are too. And hopefully boys can dance and sing and feel good about it without having to hide how much they love it. Happy birthday, baby girl.