I've got a number of posts in my head--stories to share about our trip to State With Small Mountains, thoughts on becoming department head and the workshop I just attended on academic chair duties, updates on the latest twists on the road to potty training, thoughts on home renovation. I will share one tip: don't put raw rice in the garbage disposal. It will clog the drain.
At the moment, all these other posts are crowded out by befuddlement and anger at an interaction I witnessed at Curious Girl's school today. They had a field trip to a farm today, and because of CG's continued difficulties staying dry all day, her teacher asked me be a helper on the trip. So I got to see the pre-trip routine in the classroom. The children lined up in pairs, holding hands with their partners, and Curious Girl was partnered with City Girl. When I had walked into the room that morning, City Girl was crying a little because she didn't think Curious Girl was coming to school. When she saw CG, she ran over and they hugged. Happies all around--these two girls have been buddies since the baby room, 3 years ago. They play together a lot at school. They're affectionate. And as they were holding hands at the front of the line of children, they were chatting, swinging their arms, smiling. Curious Girl lifted their arms, and gave City Girl a kiss on the back of her palm. "That's disgusting!" City Girl said. Curious Girl didn't seem to pay much mind to that, as City Girl leaned forward and down, looked her in the face and said "You kissed me!" Curious Girl kissed her again, same place, on the back of the hand, and City Girl continued, "That's disgusting. You're not a boy!"
And I was thinking "WTF?!?!?"
Curious Girl really didn't seem to be listening to City Girl at all. They continued holding hands, they sat next to each other on the schoolbus (her first bus ride!!!), they happily chattered. City Girl didn't really seem disturbed, either, and for the rest of the day their play continued as usual. When they wanted me to take their photo together, City Girl hugged Curious Girl, seemingly her usual affectionate self. But I'm just dumbfounded. These girls are four years old. Where on earth did City Girl even get the language to say what she did?
We've had City Girl and her sibling and mother to our house. The first play date we ever had, City Mama made a point of telling me about the gay friends her own mother had and how happy she was to grow up knowing gay people, and how it was important to her that her children know a lot of different kinds of people. It did have a bit of "some of my best friends are gay" about it, but still, it was sincere. All of City Family has always seemed so pleased about the fact the City Girl and Curious Girl are friends. We've had a good number of playdates and playground conversations over time. Her parents seem like good people. So where does this come from? I don't mean to sound naive here: I know homophobia exists. I just wasn't expecting to hear this, today, from one of my daughter's oldest friends.
Politica thinks I should tell City Mama what I heard. I'm not sure.
I was sure happier last night, going to bed after blogging about the wonders of the World's Greatest Speech Therapist. Watching evidence of homophobia channeled through a four-year-old girl whose friendship network you'd think would have taught her differently is pretty darn depressing.