In September, we will celebrate our 5 year college reunion and our 5 year wedding anniversary.
I grew up in a house of girls. And on top of that I am the oldest daughter and a Daddy's Girl! When I got injured in any way, I was immediately met with overwhelming compassion. My mother had band aids, neosporine, Advil and a kiss. My dad had ice, wraps and a comforting embrace. I was asked at least five to ten routine questions like, "Are you OK Baby?", "Are you bleeding?", "How bad does it hurt?" , "Did you hear anything crack or pop?", Etc... Overwhelming compassion. Deep concern. Loving care.
The other day I sat down at our computer desk and hit my knee really hard. It was not major, but it hurt and took some skin off. I was waiting for the reaction of my husband who was in the same room and witnessed what happened. No response. Did not even get up. Not concerned. And then, a slight interest as he watch me grab my knee and try to not to yell. But it was really more like an interrogation... "What'd you do?" "How'd you even hit your knee?" Not exactly what I was expecting. Not the reaction I had come to know for over 20 years.
Later that night we talked about it and I asked him how his family responded to injuries when he was growing up in house of BOYS?! "I guess you didn't really get a big reaction unless it was major, huh?" He agreed and reiterated that it was not some big thing where anyone would ever run and check on him. When you are a boy, you are expected to get over things on your own I guess?! "If they did respond, were they compassionate and concerned or scolding and interrogating?" He said it was the interrogation stuff, like, What'd you do? How'd you do that? or my personal favorite thing for anyone to say when I'm hurting... Why'd you do that? (Because we all plan to have an accidental injury.)
So... In the world of love and marriage and parenting... I figured out that he responded to me in a way that seemed perfectly normal to him. It's what he knew. It did not mean he didn't care. It did not mean he didn't love me. It was "normal" to him even though my "normal" was very far away in another expectation.
That lead us to talking about how we will react to our son. Why do people treat BOYS so differently? It's good to be compassionate. Right?
- Daddy's Girl