I took JP for a play date yesterday at the house of a friend who has three young boys. “Play” consisted largely of wrestling, and I don’t mean the cute, squirming, but ultimately not very violent kind of wrestling. This was the real deal, folks, with tactics that included but were by no means limited to: punching, kicking, choking, scratching, spitting, licking, noogieing, eye-gouging, and yes, a bit of hugging (whenever I told them to knock it off). They weren’t fighting per se, although when I asked them just what did they think we were doing hammering away at each other like that, JP answered, “We’re fighting!” with a huge grin on his face.
None of this is a big deal, really. The kids weren’t being too violent, no blood was drawn, and it wasn’t like the dads were pitting them against each other. This was how they wanted to play (until we made s’mores and turned on Star Wars, at which peace descended from above). They were, and I hate to say it because it sounds so awful, just being boys.
Which makes the fact that my upcoming child is a girl that much sweeter. I have no preference in terms of gender: wasn’t dying for a boy the first time around, wasn’t hoping not to have one this time. But when I look at the female children in the playground, do you know what I see: quieter, better behaved, more articulate, cleaner little people. In short: human beings. Humans!
Meanwhile, the boys remain beasts.