Girls Can Drive Dumptrucks and Boys Can Dance

“I wish our family had two moms,” Sam says, and I am caught by surprise. I am loading the dishes into the dishwasher while Sam puts the head on his new Lego alien minifigure and Eva pulls at my pants leg begging for her bedtime cup of milk.

“Why is that?” I ask. Our family has one parent. One mom.  And it’s never going to have two moms.

“Because moms are great, and if there were two moms one could play with me while the other mom puts Eva to bed.”

I’ve recently been talking to Sam about how all families are different. We have books that talk about big families and small families, families that adopt, families with two moms or two dads, families with just one parent. We have books that explain IVF and how a child can come in to the world without a dad.

“That would be nice, wouldn’t it?” I say, both pleased and curious as to why he didn’t say he wishes our family had a dad.

We know lots of different kinds of families. Families with adopted kids. Families with foster kids. Families with moms and dads. Families with just one mom. But I don’t know that Sam has ever been exposed to a family with two moms, and I wonder where this came from. Has he already learned the wrong message that moms do all the kid stuff and take care of everything or is he just wishing there were two mommies because he wants two of ME?

I lift Eva on to my hip and drop silverware into the dishwasher before handing her a sippy cup, but these thoughts stay with me as I walk into the nursery and change Eva’s diaper. Eva holds up the Cinderella and Snow White dolls that came with her Little People princess castle from Grandma. Earlier in the day Cinderella drove a dumptruck while Snow White road in the bucket, and Snow White answered the door when the fix-it guy (that actually came with the dumptruck) came to fix the broken balcony on the castle and ended up dancing in front of the princess mirror. And before I put Eva into her crib Snow White and Cinderella will be placed side by side in the little pink plastic bed on the top floor of the castle and Eva will tell me “Shhhhh. They sleeping.”

Eva is just on the verge of learning boy versus girl, and now that he’s in preschool Sam explains to me about girl things and boy things, but I hope that both of my children will always believe that girls can drive dumptrucks and boys can dance and the world is made up of all kinds of families including families with two moms.

Barbara Matousek, The Next Family:

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