When she said, “Girl,” I felt a surprising sense of relief.
My husband, a native Texan, played football. He grew up hunting with his father. And when we visited his family (I grew up in family of girls), there seemed to be some sort of unspoken code of how boys and men were supposed to act, a code I didn’t understand.
But I could do “Girl.” Having been a girl, I figured I understood “Girl.”
Well, my second baby was a boy. Honestly, his younger years weren’t very different from his sister’s. There were a few things, like the contrast between his first reaction, as a toddler, to a butterfly and his sister’s: she, entranced, wanted it to land on her finger; he tried to stomp on it.
But they usually played the same, with similar toys. As his sister used to point out often, to his great consternation, his beloved “action figures” really were dolls.
But now here he is, 14 years old, 6 feet tall, with a deep voice and broad shoulders, coming home from football practice smelling like a bear.
And he LIKES playing football. He’s new to it, so we’ll see. But, to my great surprise, though the team is doing “two a days,” two intense practices every day in the 100-degree Houston heat, he LIKES it.
The best part, he says happily, is blocking, when they crouch down in that line and then push each other.
I may not understand everything he goes through, but it seems like he, with the guidance of the men in his life, is figuring it out just fine.