It was decided this morning that my mom was going to take Jacob for the day and hang out with him and his auntie Kelly (who he calls “Kellen” He calls my mom “Gum” – you decide which one’s better…)
The plan was set in motion so that I would be able to get work done in peace, and Cherise could have some time off too.
After breakfast, we played a little and then I got him dressed while Cherise got the diaper bag ready. Then, I loaded him into the car, and as I watched them drive off, a solitary teardrop crept down my cheek as I thought: “My little boy. All grown up…”
Ok. Not really. I watched them drive off and looked at Cherise and we both just felt weird – It’s the first time that neither of us would be with him for an extended period of time. It did, however, bring up an interesting thought. My little boy, all grown up.
When you have a kid (or kids), usually you start thinking about all of the things that you want to teach them. Like, how to throw and catch a ball (cliché, I know) how to read and write, how to ride a bike – you get the idea.
This line of thinking is sometimes different for mom than it is for dad – stereotypically, dads teach boys about sports and women and what it means to be “a man”, while moms teach boys about emotions and tidying their rooms (don’t get on my case just yet – there’s a point I’m driving at here)
I started thinking about Jacob being “all grown up” and what I want to teach him. I very quickly realized that some of the things I’m going to teach him are completely opposite from what dads are “supposed” to teach their sons. Stereotypically speaking.
For a start, I can’t wait to teach my son how to cook. There. I said it. I love cooking. I cook everything. Cherise says I’m like MacGuyver in the kitchen (we’re children of the 80’s, get over it. Oh, and if you needed to click the link because you don’t know who MacGuyver is, you’re dead to me) We’re vegetarian as you may already know, but the food that is produced in our kitchen is still delectable – even if I do say so myself. That being said, for our 2nd date, I cooked for Cherise. I made her a North Indian Chickpea and Lentil Curry. Needless to say, Jacob will know how to cook!
He will also know how to clean.
Not just his room, but daddy is gonna teach him to do the dishes and his laundry and make a bed properly, too. You see, to me, being a good husband and father and role model for my son goes beyond just being there for him. It goes beyond the bedtime stories and play time (for him) and beyond the foot rubs and flowers (for her) – being a good husband and father and role model for my son means all of those things, AND it also means blurring the lines of gender roles in society (no, there will not be a Robin Thicke joke coming). The reason is simple.
Gender roles in society are bullshit. To even say that men are physically stronger than women all the time is a misnomer. I know of a lot of women you would not want to get into a fist fight with – I don’t care how big you are.
The simple fact of the matter is that we truly are all equal. Where men are stronger in some areas, women are stronger in others and it all evens out in the end. It also seems to me that we are moving towards a society where men are becoming more in touch with their emotional side, and women are connecting more to their logical side (debate me on this if you want to, I’m just speaking from a general perspective on the male/female stereotype) and I think this is a good thing. To me, the epitome of strength is baring your emotions and allowing your truth to be heard when it needs to be.
What I’m really getting at here is that men and women are really the same. We are all Human. We all have dreams, needs, desires, emotions, fears – it’s how we’re expected to deal with these things that makes us different. It’s a self-imposed (or society-imposed) affliction that keeps us from being who we really are and forces us to try and be who we think we’re supposed to be.
Well, not for Jacob. We’re gonna teach Jacob to be himself. Unapologetically himself.
So, yeah. I’ll be teaching him to cook and clean, write and be creative.
I’ll teach him to throw a ball, too. But that’s not important because he’ll play hockey (Canadian, remember?)
Just kidding. He’ll do whatever he’s inspired to do.
We’ll just be there to expose him to all of the things that he might be inspired by.
Hopefully, one of those things will be hockey…