I’m not sure people outside the “homeschooling community” (such as it is) know that for many homeschoolers “socializing” has a pretty nasty connotation. Especially for girls, there are so many bad ways to acculturate, and if homeschooling mitigates that a little, so much the better. (Pro-Socializers, please read carefully: I said “mitigates a little,” not “hermetically seals children away from evil world.”)
But I didn’t mean to get all serious. What I wanted to share was a little giggle I had when looking at some of the photos I took during a fabulous outing to the Heritage Lab at the Wargo Nature Center with our homeschool group.
Sorry the photos are so large, but I wanted the difference I see to be visible.
Can you see it? Can you see the straight ahead look and smirk as she talks to the girl with the long blonde ponytail? Can you see the ducked chin, upturned eyes, and smile as she talks to the boy (who is, by the way, her height and no taller)?
I think this is a little bit of flirty-girl behavior! From my daughter!
The other side of this is that she spent most of the day hanging with the guys in the group rather than the tight-knit pack of girls her age (some of whom are her friends too). I think she likes their style of energy sometimes: a little more aggressive, a little more direct.
(I think it was Cher Mere who said that male friends have lower expectations. That was a new idea to me, but on reflection it made total sense. I adore the mom friends I have made in the last 8 years, but the expectations of these relationships are different. I still remember the shock I felt when a male friend told me that a friend was someone you had no obligations to! Sorry to generalize by gender — can you trust that I know the difference between casually generalizing on my blog and acknowledging the wide spectrum of differences among people in real life?)
I like that my girl can be both super-girly — though less and less so — and comfortable with a group of guys. I’ve always disliked the idea that “girly things” — pink, ponies, princesses, etc. — are yucky and cool girls are the ones who act more like the stereotype for guys. That hardly seems like feminist progress.
I want my girls to have a full spectrum. Violet is my “punk princess” (her new phrase/phase) with an epee, and Victoria is my “sturdy” (a word she and I like to use for her) ballerina. Do not denigrate our ballet slippers, tutus, fairies, or dress-up clothes, or they will open a pink and purple can of whoop-ass on you.