Tag Archives: Montana

Lonely is a Four Letter Word

Tomorrow, it will be five weeks since we landed here on the San Francisco Bay peninsula.  We’ve gotten comfortable in our rental house with pictures on the walls and the catch-all, junk mail depository spot on the kitchen counter already established.  All three kids are now enrolled in school, we’ve determined where to do our grocery shopping and get the oil changed in our cars.  We’ve found a church we like, a favorite park to go to and Andrew is discovering favorite cycling routes.  We’ve been to the beach twice, visited the zoo, science museums and various downtown San Francisco attractions.  We’ve discovered we can walk to a coffee shop, a playground and a public library in twelve minutes, flat, from our house.  The weather here, even in early February, is generally good enough to do so on any given day of the week.  By all intents and purposes, we are settled in.

And, for me, the loneliness is just starting to emerge.

When Bozeman friends read this post they are likely to respond with some sort of “no duh.”  I miss Montana.

What I don’t miss is seven months of winter, endless snow shoveling and getting the kids in and out of snow suits.  I don’t miss pining for spring (summer) when flowers re-bloom and we can, once again, see the grass in the yard.  Not that looking out onto a lawn covered in crystalline snow pack isn’t beautiful.

But I miss our church.  I miss my friends.  I miss my childbirth education program and what it provided the community.  I miss my professional network of doulas and other childbirth educators who all shared a common goal of guiding women and their partners into and through the best birthing experiences possible.  I miss lunch at Janet’s house and dinner at the Tadvicks.  I miss the friendly secretaries at Emily Dickinson Elementary School and running into people I know on Main Street.  I miss Sola Cafe and The Cat Eye, too.

Even as I attempt to keep my game face on when around the kids, I echo their solemnity when thinking about that which we’ve left behind.  Transition is hard, whether you’re seven or thirty-seven.  But, I’m sure it will get better.

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Teaching Gender Roles

We are an equal opportunity household…I think.  In lieu of this fact, Andrew and I have been very careful to neither encourage nor discourage the playing with of certain toys for certain children, based on gender.  Our daughter is just as likely to place race cars and soccer as our son is to dust his cheeks with my make-up brushes and dress up like a princess.  And vice versa (visa versa?).

Like this morning, for example.

Admittedly, under the influence of his older sister, middle child Landon was dead-set on wearing Ellie’s three-year-old red satin and black velvet Christmas dress plus some pink clog-type shoes, while we were out in town running errands.  I have to admit–I did try a little to suggest he put on some shorts and a t-shirt.  But he was determined.  And so the smarter parent inside of me, the one that knows the harder you push your child away from something, the faster he will run toward it, said (in not so many words) ‘what the hell.’  And off we went–Ellie and Landon dressed for their “Princess Ball” and Gabe dressed as…well, just Gabe.

The guy at the mailbox store thought it was funny.

The guy we were in line behind at the grocery store was confused.

The lady at the dry cleaners…I couldn’t tell if she was amused, or concerned.
“Oh, my!  Look at the beautiful princesses!”  (She looks once.  She looks again.)  “Are they all girls?”
Without so much as a break in stride, I answered, “no, actually only one of them is a girl.  The the other two are boys.  He (referring to Gabe) is just a pretty boy, and he (nodding toward Landon) is playing princesses with his older sister.”

The lady smiled politely, and just kept looking.  And looking.  I have to admit–the electric blue basketball jersey Landon had on over the top of the dress did make the whole thing a bit confusing.

Then, the lady came in close and kind of whispered to me, “does his father mind?

I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head ‘no.’

And anyway, what’s there to mind?  Not that I have a crystal ball or anything, but I very much doubt that, because my son where’s a fancy dress around once in a while…my three-year-old son…that he will automatically end up gay because of it.  And you know what?  So what if he did?  I sure as hell wouldn’t love him any less.

I do not think you can dictate a person’s eventual sexual preference by controlling (or not controlling) the kind of toys they play with, the activities they engage in or the clothes they wear at an early age.  I’m sure there are plenty of gay men out there who played with GI Joes as a child, and plenty of Lesbians who only played with dolls and other typically “girly” things.

Now, mind you, here in Montana…you may be slightly less likely to see little boys being allowed to wear dresses and fancy shoes around than in some other locales around the country.  But, I don’t mind being the one to buck the system a little.

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Filed under Kids, Living