Shakespeare once wrote "to thy own self be true", and I quote it often in my classroom. I do not want students parroting my thoughts and fancies. I want them to discover the world for themselves. Think outside the box and dare to be different. I have marched to my own drummer, and I have found that my most unhappy moments in life have been from trying to "fit" into some preconceived concept of what I should be. So many times I have tried to be "more" of what I thought people wanted. I am ashamed to admit this, but I have even tried to change myself for a man. I know. How stupid was that! It didn't result in the hilarity of The Ugly Truth; instead, I lost a bit of my soul as well as my heart. That was a moment of pure, ugly truth, and I vowed never again. Life should be experienced as an original and not a poor, blurred copy of what may be.
Thing One's stepmother, grandmother, and I have been making a collective effort to show her that it is okay to just be Thing One. She plays soccer because she loves it. She loves being strong. She loves being smart. She loves being herself, and I hope and pray every day she stays on this path. She is more self-aware than most adults I know, and it would be a tragedy for her to ever mistrust her instincts. Women are often afraid to be themselves in a world of quick fixes and plastics. Nothing scarier than removing our masks and revealing our true selves, flaws and all. We have all fallen victim to the propaganda of it at some point, but it is up to us to either sink or swim. As of right now, Thing One is swimming. This leads me to another of my favorite quotes, "keep on swimming" from Finding Nemo.
Oh, and here are two statements from my kids this week:
1. Thing One stayed up with me one night to watch a movie, and a "Girls Gone Wild" commercial came on, and she became incensed. She couldn't believe that women would act that way for attention. Her exact words were, "Can't they see how demeaning this is to women? If an eleven year can figure it out why can't college kids?"
Excellent point, Grasshopper, and I hope you remember this when you are nineteen.
2. Thing Two cannot be left out. He just got out of bed and ran in while I was typing and began to rant about how stupid Romeo and Juliet are, and that Shakespeare got it wrong. He said, "Suicide isn't romantic."
He watched The Suite Life of Zach and Cody before bed, and they mentioned the play, and the poor thing was bothered by it. After he had his say, he gave me another kiss and went straight to bed. I am impressed, and maybe this week we will read Hamlet for a bedtime story.