Last week, I strung together words in an unforgivable sequence. I said to my nine year old, sixty-pound daughter, “You’re right. You are not allowed to join the wrestling league because you’re a girl.” A mostly male organization, but also open to females, if any dare. As if the hypocrisy and shame of this statement wasn’t enough, I added, “There’s just something about you rolling around on a mat with a bunch of guys that doesn’t make me happy.” How will I be able to sleep in the same bed with myself?
The stick-figure replied, “What? Because I’m a girl, you’re afraid I’ll get hurt?”
“Um…no. Not because you’re a girl…um. ” I attempted to take back my mistake.
“You think, because I’m a girl, I’m weak.”
“Um…no. Not because you’re a girl. We’ll have to talk about this later. When we have time.” Not 6:30 AM on the way out of the door.
What had made me say such a thing? The one thing I wanted to give my child was the belief that she’s in control of her destiny, that all people are equal (some more equal than others), and to let nothing (aside from a prison sentence) hold her back. I dream for her to grow into a well-rounded and self-sufficient person like her mother. She can change her car’s oil, paint her house, clean out the gutters, and raise a child all by herself, if she so desires.
Because you’re a girl, when the real reason has something to do with my aversion for copays, x-rays, and hanging out in the ER. The shape of her nose looks just fine the way it is.
Even though, she’s been versed on the differences between this type of wrestling and the kind seen on Friday Night Smackdown, I suspected that this was Step 1 of her plan to become a WWE Wrestling Diva like Michelle McCool and marry Jeff Hardy.
Because you’re a girl. The damage caused be me uttering those words, I couldn’t imagine, but tried. If she remembers this clearly in a few years, a revolt is certain…and possibly dates with artists, musicians, politicians, mascots, and/or writers. No!
Maybe if she didn’t resemble Olive Oyl. Maybe if I were more mature, I could do the responsible parent-thing, pay the required money, buy blinders, become supremely religious, and pray my heart out. But I’m aware that would only cause me to morph into Piper Laurie, point out her exposed dirty pillows, lock her in the kitchen closet and yell, “They’re all gonna laugh at you! They’re all gonna laugh at you!” And we all know how that movie ends.
There had to be another solution.
My plan involved her deciding that she didn’t really want to follow through with the whole wrestling-with-little-boys-thing. It had to be HER choice.
An appeal was made to Miss Gag-reflex’s olfactory sense.
“Mali. I don’t think you really want to wrestle. Wrestlers get all stinky and sweaty. Your head will probably be shoved in a boy’s armpit most the time. And people get fungal infections from those nasty mats.”
But before I could pull up graphic pictures of such a medical conditions, she shook overwhelmed with disgust. “EWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!”