When you’re the father of two very small girls you ask yourself a lot of things, like: how many more games of “lost pony in the fairy forest” can I play before my masculine self-image completely implodes? By extension, you wonder what it might be like raising boys, whether your days of sipping tea from little china cups might be replaced with more guy-like activities…showing your son how to field a grounder, talking about shaving, things like that.
Well, this last weekend I was (once again) brought back to reality when the Pastry Clan paid a visit to Mrs. Pastry’s sister’s family at their vacation house in Michigan. The weekend was a delight, the weather perfect, Lake Michigan a pristine blue. A grand time was had by all. The kids had a particularly good time playing hide-and-seek and flashlight tag (my sister- and brother-in-law have two boys and a girl roughly the ages of our girls). The boys played great with the little Joan and Josephine, despite the fact that they’re bigger and more physical generally.
However it was in the off moments between games that were the most revealing of their differences. Where the girls tended to retreat to a quiet spot to draw or play with books or dollies, the boys wound themselves into minor frenzies…running, jumping, throwing action figures and balls. At one point yesterday I went to fetch young Josephine a cup of water so she could play “tea”. On the way I passed a bedroom, inside of which was one of her cousins in his batman pajamas, jumping up and down as high and energetically as he possibly could, shouting Poop! Poop! at the top of his lungs.
He’s a terrific, well-behaved kid, he really is. This was just his boy-way of blowing off extra steam. However I thought to myself on the way back to the living room, cup in hand, that the fairy forest is really a pretty decent place to live.