On Raising A Non Girly-Girl

Our daughter Lucy will be 5 years old very soon and will be off to Kindergarten. Like most parents facing a mile stone in their child's life, it is time to reflect on our daughter's first several years.

Lucy is funny, creative, loving, and usually very concerned with other people's feelings. All in all a very sweet child. But what I love the most is the fact that she and I are caring on the family tradition of my mother. We are not girly girls. My mom who passed away last December was raised on a farm and she was expected to handle farm chores, like her older brothers. I was raised with three sisters; I think I was the designated boy. I was the one who was assigned yard duties, trash, and other traditionally masculine type duties.

When I was growing up, my daughter may have been considered a “tom-boy”. I really don’t hear that name any more, and besides she just likes a lot of stuff that some girls her age would find downright well... yucky. Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, dinosaurs, bugs, sword fighting, Iron Man and his gang of super heroes. But she also loves dresses, pink clothes, sparkly stuff and plastic jewelry. If I could find a sparkly pink necklace with Iron Man on it we would have the birthday present shopping all but done. Let's put it this way, she knew that Iron Man's real name was Tony Stark before she knew what her own daddy's real name was. I am very proud of her that she likes so many different things, and that like me she in no girly girl.

When I was a kid, there was a “tom-boy” in our neighborhood. This girl NEVER wore a dress to school and played on the boy's little league team (she was one of the best players BTW). With this girl in mind, I asked my mother if “tom-boys” grew up to marry other girls. She told me in a very nice Catholic sort of way that they usually "grow out of it". I did not push the issue of what happens if they do not.

Now I know that sometimes girls do grow up and marry other girls. Recent Supreme Court Rulings have made that easier apparently. Being friends on Facebook with my former childhood “tom-boy” friend, it looks like she did marry another girl, which makes me very happy. I have always had gay, bi, lesbian, and a couple transgendered friends, and I am so glad that acceptance is getting better. I hope that it keeps getting better so that girly girls and boys and not so girly girls and boys will find love and happiness, and not have other kids question their futures, like I did.

Tony Stark's alter-ego, my daughter, Lucy.

Tony Stark's alter-ego, my daughter, Lucy. by Brenda Brown

Tony Stark's alter-ego, my daughter, Lucy.

Tony Stark's alter-ego, my daughter, Lucy. by Brenda Brown


Marilyn Hull 5 years, 3 months ago

Great post. I was one of those tomboys...I still am in many ways. In my case, it turned out that I liked boys, and that's made my life way easier. My brother liked boys and has suffered a lot of discrimination and self-esteem issues because of the times we grew up in.

I'm happy to say that my twin daughters have grown up super-athletic and competitive without any labels hung on them. Society is making progress. Your daughter sounds awesome, and I hope she can freely and happily be whoever she wants to be.

Brenda Brown 5 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Marilyn, she is a pretty special kid and I am glad she will have more freedom than people around us growing up. Sorry your brother had to go through all of that, I know several close friends that suffered as well.

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