Lexi is still at that age where a friend is a friend...gender makes no difference. In fact, she's got lots of friends who are boys. She's strong and athletic and enjoys getting dirty just as much as she loves wearing pink and spends countless hours playing with her baby dolls and drawing pictures full of hearts and flowers and love. I cherish these days knowing someday, those simple, pure relationships with her male playmates will probably change...with age, with hormones, with the realization of the sexual tension between genders that our society does such a wonderful job of throwing in our faces. I want to tell her to cherish these days too...but then I'd have to explain WHY relationships with boys change over the years, and I'm not ready for that conversation!
Sometimes in conversation with friends or family Lexi will reference one of her boy friends, and then the teasing starts. "Is he your BOYFRIEND?" "Oh, Lexi has a BOYFRIEND." That's about the time I take a deep breath and say "Yes, she has many friends who are boys." Why does it have to be anything more than that?
Growing up I too had lots of friends who were boys. We moved often the years I was in elementary school and girls were sometimes hard to be-friend...especially for a girl who was often the tallest in the class, who HATED wearing dresses, and who would have rather been out on the kickball or football field with the guys at recess than playing on the monkey bars with the girls. Even in high school I was fortunate in my circle of friends to have males present. Friendship that brought so much joy to those crazy, transitional years of life. Friends with whom over the years I've unfortunately lost touch for one reason or another, while for some reasons us girls have done a better job of at least knowing where in the world we live.
I have an amazing circle of girl-friends. Ladies who are as close as sisters to me. (I imagine this is what it's like to have a sister only having grown up with a little annoying brother in the house.) That being the case, I still find the need for those cross gender friends. They help to keep me grounded. Balances out the energies of life; the Yin and the Yang, the Feminine and the Masculine. I think it's unfortunate that having/creating those relationships has to be so complicated at times. I've been fortunate to have a few male friends through the years...Tom in KC, Nick and Carlos here in G-town, and of course my dear brother Jason...who I love dearly, with whom there will never thankfully be any sexual tension. They each bring into my world unique perspectives, interests, and talents that broaden my view. Not to mention, they are just good people...and when it comes down to it, isn't that what we want most? To surround ourselves with good people?
I'm convinced that if for just a little bit we could put aside gender differences, if we could all keep our hormones in check, if we could think beyond penis vs vagina (I mean we all have one or the other people, get over it), the world could be a kinder, more peaceful place. But then again I still think that someday lines will cease to be drawn because of the color of one's skin or one's religious beliefs. Maybe not in my lifetime...but I'm going to give up the hope.