Babygirl, leaping from couch to chair to ottoman: “I’m KING of the world and I have amazing superpowers! Look what I can do!”

Babyboy, absorbed with a complex Lego creation which encompasses the entire living room rug: “You can’t be king because you’re a girl. Girls have to be queen. And kings and queens don’t have superpowers. Superheroes do. And you’re not a superhero because you’re just a girl.”

Babygirl thinks, then declares: “I have a cape and that means I have superpowers and these are my rules: Girls can be queen OR king! And superheroes too!”

Babyboy, concentrating on his Legos, making adjustments: “No, they can’t. Girls can only be girls or queens. You can’t just change the rules.”

Babygirl, brandishing an abstract painting with flourish: “But I MAKE the rules! Here are my rules, they’re new ones I just made!” 

Babyboy, glancing up from his work: “That’s just your painting from the other day.”

Babygirl, frowning: “It’s MY RULES and MY STORY and I DECIDE what it is and who can be, okay? You decide your own story okay?…. And if you want to play my story then you can make some rules too. I’ll let you.”

—————-

This was today. A beautiful spontaneous exchange that pretty well illustrated the emerging personalities of these kids. I got the image and jotted down the gist of it, heart swelling with love and admiration. 

It’s been a rough stretch for us, with our recent family tragedy; plus some issues and illnesses that have required much thought/ heavy conversations/ timely action. Hubby left for upstate New York to be with family as his mother is in poor health. I’m on call for our practice and the pager’s been fairly active. 

Thus today, Sunday, was a day to hunker down and keep it simple. The kids and I stayed inside and in pajamas. In between calls, I accomplished little besides acting as chief Lego- locating assistant and indulging odd snack requests. I shredded a massive pile of junk mail, that’s about all I can say I did for housework, and it shows. 

But, no matter. Nevermind all that, and forget the horrors of the headlines, the blatant misogyny of the current administration, and any well- founded fears for the future of these kids. 

Here, I have a budding engineer with impressive powers of logic and concentration, and a precocious powerhouse of personality in the form of a five-year-old girl. 

The question is not actually “Who runs the world” but “Who will run the world”, and here they are.