Sunday, June 1, 2014

I can slay my own dragons (well, sometimes.)


Between the two late twos/early threes classrooms, we have about 16 boys and 6 girls. BUT! Fear not, the girls can give the boys a run for their money. Teaching those little girls has given me such insight into their hearts. As a girl wouldn't I have insight into a little girl's heart? Well, part of me doesn't remember being that little. I grew up quickly as a teenager, leaving childhood behind, so my actual age is twenty but feels about 35. My memories of being two and three aren't detailed, although the book I'm currently reading is helping me rediscover my little girl self. So daily teaching these precocious girls is teaching me about myself and girls in general. 

You really don't fully understand the amount of time little girls spend dreaming. And wishing. And playing pretend. Their imaginations take them to places close to home and far away. All little girls exceel at one thing in particular- getting themselves into pretend situations that require their rescue. 

Rescuing. Of all things in the world, all little girls adore the idea of being special enough to someone that that someone would risk their life to save them. We don't grow out of this idea, either. It follows us through preteen years and into high school and we enter adulthood with it. Oh sure, we may not playact that desire anymore, but it's there, buried deep down in our souls. 

I don't think it's our fault, or our mom's or our grandma's. We subconciously pass it along, from generation to generation. It's in the books we read and the movies we see and the lives around us. 

Think about it. 
-Cinderella works her hiney off for her dysfunctional family, holding on to that one night she got at a dance, with a prince for crying out loud! She dreams he'll follow her and sweep her away, forsaking all others to save her from her situation (and if she was like me, she probably didn't think he actually would) but he DOES.  
-the original story of Rapunzel. A beautiful young girl is locked away in a tower, waiting for a man to break her free from her prison and show her the world ((not to be confused with aladdin's "a whole new world")).  
-Spiderman. Mary Jane gets kidnapped. Hello, retrieval mission. 
-The song, I Need A Hero, by Bonnie Tyler. 
-the movie He's Just Not That Into You. See Ginnifer Goodwin's character. 
-or in my sister's words, "any old western where the broad is tied to the railroad" and "any episode of popeye. Olive Oil is always like, "Oh popeye, oh dear, oh my!"

and dozens of other examples. 

Please hear me when I say there is nothing wrong with having a desire to be rescued. But it becomes a problem when we assume that as our identity. I don't want my girls (whether my current ones or future ones or future biological ones) to ever place their identity in the need of rescuing. Because they are strong girls. They will be capable girls. They will be brave girls, diving headfirst into all God has to offer them. They will be God girls. At least that it what I pray for them, and that is what I pray I portray for them. 


In the spirit of helping them become those girls, I'm trying to find more books and stories that exemplify those qualities. I'm compiling a list to post further down the road, so send me your suggestions!! 

xo, bethany

***the title of this blog post is a lyric from a Cheetah Girls songs, "Cinderella"

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