I don’t follow medical journals with any regularity, but last I checked, the jury was still out on the nature/nurture debate on how we develop and why. Like most complex discussion, it seems like the pendulum swings back and forth pretty regularly. I used to believe that we were generally blank slates when we came into this world, ripe for the inscribing by whatever parent, tribe, or village happened to get to scribbling first.
That was before I had kids.
When our oldest, Gabrielle, was born, I remember thinking that she had about as much chance of becoming a cheerleader as a penguin did of not only flying across the ocean like an Wandering Albatross, but flying to the moon and back for extra mileage. My wife, Kris, grew up a tomboy, always more comfortable in jeans and t-shirts than sequins and glam; she wasn’t going to be rushing our daughters into makeup or wedges. And while I consider myself a pretty open-minded guy, probably in touch with my feminine side (if someone could definitively explain what that is, exactly), I had met too many vapid, narcissistic, or selfish cheerleaders for comfort, so I wasn’t going to push our daughter in that direction. (I’m generalizing, of course—plenty of cheerleaders are down-to-earth and genuine. Penguins, too).
But right around the time Gabi learned to walk, she was accompanying Kris on a shopping trip, and they took what should have been a quick stroll through the shoe aisle. Only Gabi’s eyes lit up like she just saw the most beautiful thing in the universe, and she moved from one glittery pair or girl’s shoes to the next, and couldn’t be coaxed out of the aisle for over an hour. She was in love. Did I mention she wasn’t one yet? (more…)Read More...