I'm not one of those mom's that can participate in a lot of Riley's school activities so when I told Riley that I would attend her field trip to the Minnesota Arboretum, her face lit up and she practically jumped into my arms. For two weeks she counted down the days until the field trip which finally arrived this week. She was very excited.
There were a few other mom's there and you could tell that a couple of them were able to do this on a regular basis with their kids. In some ways I wish that was me, but it's not and I'm ok with that too. I have to work and I like to work, but when I see how excited my kid is for me to be a part of her school life it makes me momentarily wish things were different.
Luckily, I can take some time off occasionally and be there for Riley. It was fun to see her interact with her friends and also keep a close eye on me. I'm not one to be on my phone texting much (partly because my phone is annoying for texting), but I couldn't help but send updates to Jesse throughout the afternoon.
Riley was delighted that we could sit next to each other on the bus and that we got to be in a group that included her best 'boy' friend. I saw signs last year of her being a little boy crazy, but it really became apparent this year. This is her second 'boy' friend of the year and I'm not sure how I feel about it. At first, it was fun to watch them play rock, paper, scissors on the bus, but later when she insisted on sitting next to him and holding his hands... well that was another story.
On the way back to the school, Riley and her friend sat next to each other while I got to sit with another little boy who informed me that Riley and her friend were boyfriend and girlfriend and that he had his own girlfriend as well. Apparently, it is a thing.
I know this may be innocent enough and I may or may not joke that I should start homeschooling Riley, but I think a bigger issue keeps running through my head. Why is she doing this? Is it just because she's found a good friend? Is it because all those silly princess stories tell her that she'll find value and happiness with a handsome boy? We recently read Chick 'n' Pug:The Love Pug and I immediately wanted to burn the book. I was disgusted at the message that the book relayed... girl pug going out of her way to impress boy pug who wanted nothing to do with her. Just a super gross message. And a message that I feel I see all over. I'm frustrated by a world that expects different things from boys and girls and then continually sends messages to reinforce that. It's hard to counter that.
I worry about these messages way more than I did before I had a daughter. I see them everywhere... I recognize them in my own childhood and it makes me sad/mad, as Riley would say. Ok, I've gotten a little off track with this post which was originally a post about what a delightful day I had with my kid... let's leave it at that before I continue on about any other injustices out there. :)