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Being a dragon

 

By Starfoxy

Last week at soccer practice my son’s preschool teacher asked me about my son’s Halloween costume. She told me that he had been consistently reporting to her that he was going to be a dragon and that his mom was making him a dragon costume. This was unique because the other kids in the group reported a different costume every day. At that time it was news to me because I was planning on matching robot costumes for my two kids. Though I had to admit that I knew in the back of my mind that he was going to be a dragon for Halloween.

I knew this because my son thinks that when he grows up he is going to be a dragon. He’s been saying this for the better part of a year. After watching Sleeping Beauty his grandma asked him if he was scared when Maleficent turned into a dragon. All he had to say was, “She turn into a dragon like I will turn.” A few nights ago he said that he is not a mom yet, and I told him that he wouldn’t grow up to be a mom he would grow up to be a dad. His response? “I not grow up to be dad. I grow up and be dragon.”

I find my son’s naive optimism distressing in some ways. Not because I’m worried about him, but because I wonder what his certainty says about my own certainty. I’m convinced that when I die and enter the afterlife that I will have left behind this world of sexism. I’m convinced that when I ‘grow up’ I’m going to be an agent, an actor, a person; and that everyone will accept that I have value in my own right, not merely for the services I provide to those who have value by default. I’m afraid that the casual certainty I have that my son will grow up to be a man, and not a dragon, is the same sort of casual certainty God has that I will grow up to be a role, not a person.

I don’t know if I’m right or not, but for now I’m going to keep roaring.

Starfoxy

Starfoxy is a fulltime caretaker for her two children.

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8 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    I love your reflections on this, Starfoxy. I too have decided over the last few years that God agrees with me on issues of justice and equality. That’s been a huge breakthrough for me. I no longer fear the terrifying possibility that my eternal destiny is to be subject to my husband, one of many wives, silenced, etc.

    I may turn out to be wrong, but like you, I’ll keep roaring as well.

  2. Christian says:

    Act, don’t be acted upon. Decide to be a person, not a role. This is my decision for myself.

  3. Kiskilili says:

    Great post!

    In this life I choose to act rather than to be a role. I just hope I can convince God in the next not to treat me as a role. In the end, how God chooses to treat me is not entirely in my power.

  4. Kelly Ann says:

    I love how children believe they can grow up to be anything. That is what I try to remember myself. Personally, I have decided growing up is over-rated and I am just trying to enjoy the process more than focusing on an often fuzzy end destination.

  5. ZD Eve says:

    I love this post, Starfoxy, and I love the way you use your son’s certainty about his future dragonhood to consider the problem of hoping for things from God as yet completely unseen, such as the personhood of women.

    I especially like this part:

    I’m convinced that when I die and enter the afterlife that I will have left behind this world of sexism. I’m convinced that when I ‘grow up’ I’m going to be an agent, an actor, a person; and that everyone will accept that I have value in my own right, not merely for the services I provide to those who have value by default. I’m afraid that the casual certainty I have that my son will grow up to be a man, and not a dragon, is the same sort of casual certainty God has that I will grow up to be a role, not a person.

    That’s the dilemma, isn’t it?
    For myself I’ve had to make a decision that God is broader-minded than the church is, in the absence of any real evidence whatsoever. It’s a perverse leap of faith, to disbelieve the church on certain points, but one I’ve had to make in order to remain in the church, paradoxically enough.

    Here’s to the prospect of our future personhood. Nothing less will do.

  6. D'Arcy says:

    My fear—we all know your son is NOT going to grow up to be a dragon. His certainty is wrong. I have given up on being “certain” anymore and I feel a little better about things.

  7. Ziff says:

    I love this post, Starfoxy, particularly the same part Eve noted:

    “I’m afraid that the casual certainty I have that my son will grow up to be a man, and not a dragon, is the same sort of casual certainty God has that I will grow up to be a role, not a person.”

    As a man, I feel like I can’t ever quite grasp the pain women must experience at the endless messages in the church of your not-quite-personhood. Your post moves me a little closer.

  1. December 30, 2009

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