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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dream Big, My Darling....

Today was birthday party day. Ellie went to one in the morning, and Sabrina went to one this afternoon.

Sabrina's invitation was from one of her best friends, Abigail, who is turning five. In a vastly different party from what I normally associate with little girls, this one had a science theme. The kids did experiments, like picking up an ice cube from a glass of water using a piece of string and a little salt, mixing paint colors, and putting dry ice in juice to make "potion."

The girls were enraptured, and I got to overhear a conversation between three of the girls. Abi and Sabrina agreed they are going to be scientists when they grow up, and the third piped in that she is going to be a doctor. Abi's specialty will be oceans, and after further prompting she revealed she wants to research how the ocean puts out fires that are lit in its waters.

I shared this information with Abi's parents, who were thrilled to see an interest in science. This is a family who wants to break the myth of fairy tales only being about handsome princes.

I am probably not much help when it comes to diffusing gender stereotypes. Our gift to Abi was a pretend makeup kit.

I encourage my girls to doll themselves up, and I have been known to encourage ear-piercing, Barbies, and henna tattoos. I fear my difficulty encouraging my daughters to dream ambitiously is a result of my own inhibitions. While I have told them over and over again that they can be and do whatever they want, we still talk a lot, probably more than we should, about princesses and rock stars.

On the other hand, I can't be doing all bad, because seven-year-old Jack was wondering aloud the other day why there hasn't been a woman President yet. He was genuinely baffled. Sabrina suggested I should be President, but Ellie and Jack both agreed this is a bad idea, because then I'd never be around to take care of them. Hmmmm.

You know, I don't think I'd do well with that kind of pressure. I can barely manage my own household. Besides, I'd never get any reading done.


At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool. Science rocks but I think it is more cool and makes a bigger impact when presented by a well made up girl ;-) Who says wicked smart and gorgeous can not be in the same package? I believe that Kiley thinks when she becomes a full grown Princess she will rule the world. God save us all... By the way.... I have noticed a lack of Ellie in recent pics. Is she going through a camera shy phase?-k

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Sabrina and Ellie come from a line (albeit paternal) of Geek Grrls. Heck, Grandma Barbara was one of the ORIGINALs. Math rocks!

Auntie Liz, who nevertheless sent Sabrina a princess book for Christmas...

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Gateway School and Learning Center said...

Maybe Sabrina will be the first President of the United States and Abigail can be Secretary of State. Now that's a government I can look forward to. Princess crowns for everyone! Hot chocolate and love and freedom for all!


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