Yesterday the doll asked me a simple question, “Mom, are girls more mature then men?” Smiling, in an effort to not give her a knee jerk reply, I said, “Oh yeah, most definitely”. “I thought so” she said then returned to the book she was reading. “But doll it’s not that simple” I said. “Why? I think us girls are much more mature than the boys…” She explained. “While that may be true…and present company excluded…”I said, pointing in the direction of her father; “Most men make more money than women holding the same job”. “How?” The doll asked. “That’s a good question doll…one that a lot of people are trying to change. Men have always thought of themselves superior to women because on average, they are bigger and physically stronger than women. But most women are stronger than men in different ways-take for instance having a baby. If men had to give birth, there wouldn’t be a person on earth…because they wouldn’t be able to handle it-in my opinion.” “Well that’s just stupid!” The doll exclaimed. “Totally agree doll, but this is how society has rolled for a lot longer than I’ve been around. Yet we are making strides and getting better. Yet the road to true equality is a long one. “Well I see how the boys behave in my classroom and the way the boy is here at home and I know I’m way more mature than them, as are most of my friends.” The doll said. “You’ll find during life you’ll run into different people with differing waves of maturity. Everyone is different…” I concluded as the doll nodded her head in agreement and then went back to reading her book.
Last night the doll emerged from her bedroom and informed “Mom I can’t sleep. I thought I’d listen to some music, but my Ipod is dead. Can I charge it for a few minutes?” “Have you tried all the usual suspects…saying a rosary? Counting backward from 100?Saying the alphabet backwards? Multiplication tables?” With each suggestion the doll nodded along until I asked about multiplication. At that suggestions she scrunched up her nose in disgust. “Multiplication..?” She asked. “Yes…highly effective because no one wants to say them and therefore falls asleep trying to…” A look of “A ha!” crossed her face before she added, “Just let me listen to music please?” I agreed but offered, “You know why not try going to sleep while it’s out here charging…” The doll nodded and then sat down at the kitchen table saying, “First mom, I want to tell you something funny…” Looking up from the laptop I said, “Okay…” “Well Erin’s sister is playing the part of Mary in the school’s passion play and the dude playing Jesus, he’s going out with Erin’s best friend. Well we were given a preview of the play, because we’re going to miss it while we’re at camp next week and while we watched we couldn’t help but laugh because Erin has to pretend to kiss and take care of her best friend’s boyfriend. We were like ‘How awkward'” she finished with a giggle”. I smiled at her and guffawed a bit when she added, “Oh but that didn’t take away the message mom…we totally got the seriousness of the message. Just the awkwardness of the two made us giggle” she said trying to qualify her explanation. “Go to bed….” I said with a smile, which she did…until the Ipod had charged for ten minutes, then she retrieved the device and went back to bed.
As I sat here replaying in my head her conversation with me I was struck by two things….first of all she’s still telling me stories about school—COOL and secondly, yes there are many different levels of maturity…especially with 12 year old girls.