I’ve been thinking about advocacy… the greatest advocacy of all being between a mother and child. The important moment when the easiest and best thing you can do is just be there. Stand up for them. Listen and understand the person you aren’t. I don’t have kids yet but I’d like to believe that in the moments when I don’t have words or an answer I’ll be strong enough to say I believe in you and to stand up. If I have a child, we’ll create a revolution of our own.
I heard the best story today from a coworker. Her daughter is 7 and well, she has masculine tendencies. She plays hockey with the boys, wants everyone to call her L instead of Lisa and… well she’s just not a girly girl. She doesn’t idenitfy herself with a pony tails and dress. Well, L came home extremely upset one afternoon. That day, each student had to make a paper cut-out of themselves (you know, the big paper shape of yourself?). L’s teacher insisted that she use the girl shape — the one with the ponytail and skirt. She told her mom “this just isn’t how I see myself.” She furiously wrote an e-mail to tell her exactly what she thinks of this silly project. She’ll tell her not to force her beliefs on L. But she stopped herself from sending the e-mail.
The next day, she walked into the classroom to drop L off. In silence, the teacher watched her cross the room and announce “just fixing something.” Then, she pulls a pair of scissors from her purse and cuts the ponytail off the paper cut-out.
She said later, “the best I can do is be an advocate for her, whatever happens.”