Let’s talk about… Gender – Part II

As I stated in the Part I of this post, everything that I have to say about gender falls into two categories:

  • Things I have learned and believe as a result of being the parent of two children
  • Things I have learned and believe as a result of my own experience as a human being

Turns out that I didn’t cover all of the things that I’ve learned about gender in that post so here is another installment…

A is just about to finish up his first year in school. This can’t possibly be. It seems like the first day was just last week.

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First Day
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He’s pumped

Not long after the school year started, we started to notice the influence that school had on him when it came to gender. Now before I go on, let me just say that he goes to a very open and accepting school. A school where he is not the only child of two lesbian parents. A school where kids can dye their hair whatever color pleases them. A school that doesn’t box kids in based on anything, let alone gender. But, inevitably he started to make comments about gender that seemed to be influenced by an outside source. Things like only boys can do certain things. Only boys are allowed in his room (being the only boy in the house, that didn’t got over too well for him). You get the idea.

We didn’t freak out. We knew it was coming. The influence of gender roles in our society is strong. So, we took this opportunity to talk about gender more with the goal being to help him frame the things that he heard at school. We gave examples of boys that he knows with long hair and girls with short hair. We talked about our family structure and other families that we know. We asked him questions about his own gender and preferences. He is clear (for now) that he is male. He wants people to know he is a boy and he makes choices that are consistent with that. For example, he prefers short hair (at least on the sides and back, his new thing is “long in the middle” which he now clips or wears in a unicorn style ponytail or multiple Mohawk style spikes).

When asked about his sister (who currently identifies as “princess”), he says that she is a girl. When asked about Mama-that-stays-home (a.k.a. my wife), he says that she is a girl. When asked about Mama-that-goes-to-work, he says, “something in between.”

Something in between! Can we just stop all the fuss around the world about gender identity and let kids solve the labels problem for us? Kids are great because they don’t take offense to gender or see why someone should be offended by being misgendered (take for example a conversation I had with a little girl at Disney World many years ago: Walt Disney World Gay Days 2010). People are what they are. Some people are this or that and some are something in between. Okay, fine. Who cares?

I remember the first time we posed the question to A. Both mamas were reading him a bedtime story (most likely as a way to have some discussion around the new found gender stereotypes that he was expressing). This is where the conversation went:

A: I like Mama [M] better.

Mama[A]: Why?

A: Because she’s in between a mom and a dad.

Obviously, this was just about the best answer possible. I was not at all offended by this statement. Both because it was an innocent statement and because it is entirely accurate. I carried him (and his sister) in my belly. I gave birth to them. I breastfed them both beyond two years. But, I also am the Mama that goes to work. I wear ties and bow-ties. I play video games and read comic books with him. Something in between pretty much covers it.

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J visiting Mama-that-goes-to-work
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I’m the one in Blue

Blogging for LBGT Families Day 2013: Another Big Year

It is that time again. This is the fourth year in a row that I am Blogging for LGBT Families. You can check out the previous years here: Blogging for LGBT Families 2010: A Baby in the WorksReflections and a Little RantingOne Happy Family.

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The first year that I/we participated in this special day, we were just considering starting a family and had not ironed out all the detailed and had not even started the TTC process, the second year I was 30 weeks pregnant and we were waiting for our little turkey to arrive, and last year we had moved from Florida to Vermont with our little man. Reflecting back over the past year, I am not sure that we have experienced quite the level of dramatic change that occurred between each of the previous years though we did go from having a baby to having a toddler which is crazy. Where did this kid come from?

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Swinging!

I suspect that the upcoming year with prove to be an exciting one as well. We are currently in the midst of subdividing our property in Vermont to enable Grandma and Papa-U to build a house very, very, very close to ours. We cannot wait to have them up here with us full time. (Heal fast, Grandma!) I am currently in the middle of a master’s program that will be nearly complete by this time next year. Lots of exciting things are happening at work and at home (possible remodel and improvement projects, yay!).

I have been rather absent from blogging as sometimes there is just too much happening in life to find time to write about life. I am hoping to schedule in a little time here and there to keep up with blogging and mostly just documenting our life and those special moments that we don’t want to forget as time flies by us.

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Egg Hunt at the Ford Dealership Easter 2013
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One cool dude
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Family time with Donald
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Cute little family

I cannot wait to see what life has in store for this little family over the next year!

 

Family Friday XXII: The One without Much Family Talk

So. The Disney Marathon is this weekend and I have been getting ready physically and mentally to participate in the Goofy Challenge. Training has been difficult and though I am not at all worried about completing the Half Marathon with my head held high. I am slightly concerned about completing the Marathon the following day. I have adjusted the thoughts in my head to not being concerned about my time but just to concentrate on completing the races, even if I have to walk a portion. I had always felt like walking was like failing because the whole point was to be able to run the distance. Then I ran 16 miles without stopping and thought I was going to die. I decided that on those super long runs that I would give myself a little break. I made a plan to walk for a couple of minutes every half hour or so during the long runs. I found that the next time I did a long distance like that, I was tired but not dead and my time was nearly the same. So, that is my plan for the Disney races this weekend. I am excited and even had a special shirt made to wear! Stay tuned for photos after the weekend of me before and hopefully after the race.lol

The medals (or similar medals) that I will receive if I finish both races within the time limit:

What I will look like if I finish both races within the time limit:

Random Update and Serious Blog Reflections

So. I finally posted about our trip to the Food and Wine Festival at Disney’s Epcot. You can view the whole post on Mandi Munches. I am going to try and catch up on my blogging in the next week or so and start fresh. It has been very difficult for me to keep up lately due to several things.

I do have one announcement to make. As of November 1st I will be starting a new position at work (a promotion of sorts, more money but more work). It is a Monday through Friday salaried job in Risk Management. I will no longer be required to wake up at 4am to arrive at work by 5am. I will have an office with a window and everything. This is where it gets serious. The whole point of starting this blog was to give a running dialogue of our move to Vermont. Clearly with accepting and new position at work we will be staying here a bit longer than planned. This is due to one thing and one thing only. We have yet to sell our house. I have not mentioned it on here in quite sometime because there is nothing to mention. Since accepting the job, of course, we have shown the house and this weekend we will be having an open house. Basically, that is how things happen. We had gotten some not so positive news about the potential of selling the house in this competitive market so I applied for the new position. It would be our luck to sell the house in the near future but we should be so lucky.

And now on to the serious blog reflections. This blog no longer serves it’s purpose. I now talk more about having a baby and our daily life than anything to do with moving. I am thinking about making some wording and cosmetic changes to it for that reason. If anyone should object, please do so now for changes will occur soon!

Mickey’s Halloween Party Post

For the first time we went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at The Magic Kingdom. We had never gone because we sort of thought of it as a kid thing and didn’t want to pay all sorts of $50 dollars to get in but after talking with a friend as work we decided to give it a try. We are so glad that we did. We would even pay to go back. We had a blast. The characters, candy, and parade were my favorite parts. Everything, in other words, was my favorite part. Here is us starting the night off with a photo with all seven dwarfs. I think this may be one of the only times that they make an appearance in the park.

We went into the little party that was happening in the Diamond Horseshoe. Woody was in there dancing and entertaining all sorts of small children. We went back looking for Jesse and Bullseye but they were not there.

This is the beginning of the parade. Actually, the beginning was the headless horseman but he is hard to capture. I did get a shot but not as cool as this Mickey head.

I love the drama and the dancing and the fabulousness of this photo.

Meeting Terk, Tarzan’s buddy. Made lots of funny jokes about meeting “turk” and even got a photo with just Terk. Tarzan and Jane were offended but oh well.

We got one with everyone too to make them feel better.

Here’s Me, Terk, and Ashley…

The lines were another reason that we would go back. Maybe as it gets closer to actual Halloween it will be more crowded but for us it was not at all. I even took a photo of the wait time for some of the rides because I didn’t think that Ashley’s parents would believe us. We rode Dumbo and got the purple one, Ashley’s favorite of course.

This is a little blurry but were flying around in circles so give me a break.lol

Another reason to go to the MNSSHP (didn’t feel like typing it out again) is the candy! If you like candy, and I do, then you will enjoy greatly walking up to castmembers all night and getting “free” candy. Everytime you see one of these little globe thingys just hold open you bag and enjoy.

After the party we went back to the hotel room and of course counted, sorted, and traded candy. We are dorks but it was fun. Here is our stuffed bear going after Ashley’s candy.

The stash poured out…

and sorted…

WDW Day Trip: Duffy the Disney Bear

I’m terribly late posting about this but better late than never. Last weekend we went to Disney for our first ever Passholder event. We essentially just went to go because we had never been to one. The event was about the introduction of Duffy the Disney Bear. Duffy has been a character in the Tokyo Disney for many years and I guess they have just decided to bring the character over from Japan. The story goes like this: Mickey always traveled the world so much that Minnie made him a stuffed bear named Duffy to take along on his journeys. Mickey traveled the world with Duffy and they had great times and he met many friends. (There is a whole live action show in Japan about this). Anyway. We went to Epcot, where the event was, a little early and rode some rides and ate our delicious packed lunch (yes we are lame). Then we walked around the world. We check out the new backdrop to our wedding ceremony location. I liked it better the other way for our ceremony. This is what it looks like now, pictured with me holding a cup of water and a cookie, of course.

On to the event…

When we arrived at the event we were each given a Duffy the Disney Bear chocolate covered rice crispy treat, which I promptly ate. I shared some with Ashley, too. We were also given water and we sat down in about third row.

We were not allowed to take pictures once the event started but I took this before that of Duffy on the screen. We have a Build-a-Bear named “Baby” and we made jokes about Duffy being her boyfriend. He’s cute in the sailor suit right?

We got our Duffy after the event. They sold them at a discounted rate for the people at the event and here is Ashley posing with him:

He is going to be a character in the park that you can great and get an autograph or photo with. This is the area that is currently under construction that will be his future home in Epcot.

Me waiting in line to take a photo with Donald and Duffy. I didn’t think about it at the time but apparently, Donald doesn’t like Duffy because he is Mickey’s bear. Is it just me or do I look foreign in this photo?

See Donald isn’t happy about me placing Duffy on his hat. He refused to smile for the photo until Duffy was no where to be seen.

Here’s the keeper.

All in all we had a great day trip to Disney and we are super excited about going back this weekend. Every year we take a day or two and go to Disney for the Food and Wine Festival on our anniversary of being a couple (this weekend marks four years that we have been an official couple). Happy Couple Anniversary, Ash! I love you!