*3-1/2 months later
Look at an infant. As soon as they shed the most primal instincts, they respond to their moms. Look into her eyes, she looks back. Give a hug, she cuddles back. Smile, smiles back. Clap your hands, she'll try the same. She models herself around her world. Do some ironing and cooking, and boys and girls will play house.
Soon, boys start identifying with their dad; girls, their mom. It's a natural process for brain and character development. Although it may be hard to imagine now, it was hard for a girl to look at all the men doctors and say "I want to be a doctor." It's was easier to admire the pretty 2nd grade teacher and model herself after her. Or, if you couldn't relate to any of the female teachers, secretaries or sales clerks and you sulked in your room and wondered what was wrong with you.
Add to the gender cake a layer for race. (Even now, try searching "female doctor," and see what you get. Page after page of mostly white females.) Back in the day, not only were the doctors men, they were white men. White men astronauts. White men news anchors. Short, tall, bald, fat. White, white, white! (You must say that like Jan, when she says "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!")
If you are a white girl, you may understand that a black girl wouldn't feel comfortable going to the Clinique counter because of coloration, but it may be harder for you to believe an East Asian girl wouldn't, either. You may not think we're so different because we're usually lighter, like you. My friend understood this once she traveled abroad. But our eyes, facial structure and coloring are different. Put shadow on the crease? Highlight the brow bone? Dot the ball of your cheeks? Look up to put on mascara - on our straight lashes? Smudge the eyeliner - so that it smudges onto your cheek?? Things just don't make sense to us.
So who do we emulate? Do you understand the lack of connection, the potential frustration? If we want to encourage our children, in the words of a military ad "to be all that you can be," might we want to paint the possibilities in every color imaginable? And the more our children see various scenarios as "normal," might the walls of predispositions and prejudices break down? Might I possibly hope that the world would understand each other better?
As a Christian, I know grace does not abound without Christ. But there is common grace - the grace with which God blesses the World. Might we scatter and plant the seeds of possibilities, understanding, hope, tolerance and wisdom into the fertile field of Grace?
Might I Hope?