Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Who needs boys?

I was shopping for Christmas gifts yesterday and thumbing through a rack of clothes for the Dancer when I saw a sparkly shirt with the words "Who needs boys?" in glitter across the front.
And I paused between the hurried shoppers and stared at that shirt.
You know I teach my girls to reject the world's definition of beauty  and any pressure they would ever feel to fulfill some boy's lust. 
But never, in all my life, have I thought boys were expendable or accessories to our lives.
When I think of the phrase "who needs boys?" I think of the man who grew up to be my daughters' father.
The one who strums our girls to sleep with the quiet notes of a guitar.

The one who takes them to bowling alleys when their mother complains that bowling alleys smell weird

The one who tells his little girls they don't look nerdy in glasses when they don't believe their mother

The one who can turn a  death trap into a fun adventure

The one who teaches us that bugs aren't scary...

And engines aren't either.

The one who sees the world differently than I do and lets me peek through his eyes and discover things I never imagined.

So... who needs boys?

The girl who wants to marry a man who is smart and funny and strong,

The child whose first hero is his or her dad,

The granddaughter who feels safe when grandpa hugs her close,

The girl who wants someone to admire the frogs she pulls up from muddy ponds,

The children who know that a good tickle fight is one of the finest pleasures in life.

As we empower little girls to be strong and brave and confident, let's not do it by belittling the boys who also need to feel powerful and valuable.
I know that there are dads who are MIA. I know that many families don't have the ideal father or husband. And I know that they can overcome that through their own strength and intelligence and perseverance. But because we do not always have them, does not mean there is no need for them.
To the question, "Who needs boys?"
I answer firmly, "Every single one of us."

Though it goes without saying, I didn't buy the shirt...


  1. Thank you! I know several families with only girls, and the mommies can be very disdainful of little boys, and very satisfied with themselves for only having produced precious girl children.

    But boys (and men) are just as precious. Maybe a little stinkier, but still pretty awesome.

    Love your blog, love your book, can't wait for more.

    Happy holidays to you!

  2. Equally precious, equally important and if you had ever been in the car when my Dancer took off her oh-so-glittery shoes, you would know just as stinky. :) Thank you for stopping in and commenting!

  3. I so appreciate this post. I'm the mom of two boys and two girls and it breaks my heart that in this age of helping our girls reach their full potential, there are so many who think that can only be done by bringing down men/boys. Why is it so hard to love both genders and help both genders respect and appreciate each other?

    I've seen this reflected in the advertising trend where men are too stupid to handle anything without a woman stepping in and saving the day (usually while shaking her head at his incompetence).

    Boys AND girls are precious, sweet, funny, shy, capable, scared, outgoing, clever, obstinate, and so many other things that make them interesting and wonderful.

    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks for your perspective, Karey. I'm so grateful to the mothers raising wonderful sons so someday my daughters can have wonderful husbands. The sexes were never meant to be in competition. Every child should grow up to feel so valuable that they are not afraid to value others equally.

  4. Thank you so much for your post! I love my little boys with all my heart. When we had our third child (a girl) many people thought for sure I would be so, so happy. And I was...but I was happy to be having a healthy child, not because she was a girl. I love both genders and I think both are needed in this world and you say thinks so much more eloquently than I do, so thank you!