How Men Are

I have this lump in my throat as I write this. I want to cry, for the 'Thousand Slights' you'll suffer. I want to shield you from that pain. But I can't. And it makes me feel helpless and small, and scared. I love you, Jess. You were in the playroom when I came in yesterday night after shopping. You were building with Magnatiles, this beautiful amphitheater structure. Dad and your brother were playing Stratego on the kitchen table. At first I thought the scene was good and you were happy down there on your own. But as I put the food away, I noticed your face, I saw your sadness, and as I write this I can't stop my tears.

Daughter of mine, I want to tell you about a billion things here, things I got along the way, and ponder with you the world of things I'm still missing. But one thing I know for sure, men are not wired like women. They're not. They're not connected outward, outside themselves most of the time. Most men anyway. And that is going to come back and bite you again and again. And hurt you. And I'm sorry. I wish it was different.

The thing is, throughout your life you're going to have to work really hard with most men to bring them outside themselves. I'm not indicting men. After knowing many in my 45 years, marrying one and raising another, I've come to see that the genetic differences between us truly do separate us. Perhaps because women give birth we are connected outside ourselves, naturally maternal, hardwired to be caregivers, our senses plugged into the scene for the most part, Men have focued on tasks, not so much emotional outreach. And even though women work along side men now, at this point in human development, it still falls on women to help men become more aware of others, more connected outside of themselves.

Dad and E were plugged into themselves last night. I'm sorry you were excluded. And I'm sorry I wasn't there to make them more aware of how that affected you. And I know it doesn't really count to say they had no intention of hurting you, but this is the work to which I'm referring. You're going to have to bring men to you-- make them aware of your needs. You did that when you asked daddy to be on his team, but when he said no, you should have told him how that made you feel. Don't just walk away and feel hurt. For one thing, they didn't even notice they hurt you.

Men are genetically wired inward, their senses connected to their body, and inside their own mind. Most must be taught to expand their awareness to you, the kids, the complexities of the moment at hand. Our technology driven society no longer requires brute force to survive. Narrowing focus to battle the Mastodon is no longer necessary. Again, this is not an indictment. Both sexes have many gifts for the other. Each of us needs to be more aware of, and responsive to the other in our ever shrinking, volatile world.

Jess, you are my ray of sunshine, you're positively delightful by everyone's reckoning who has the privilege of knowing you. I fear the 'Thousand Slights' will rob you of your lightness. I hope you don't let them. Express what you need, how you feel, keep pushing the envelope of awareness, and know evolution takes millennium. We are all works in progress, and we must learn from one another to thrive.

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