My grandson is seven. A seven-year old knows the difference between boys and girls. They have entered that “age of reason”, in which they question and try to successfully think for themselves. They have formed opinions and know what they like and dislike. Little boys for the most part still like hanging out with the boys. Little girls with their quiet and “girlie” ways seem very foreign to a boy of seven.
My grandson is no different than other boys his age. He likes Ninja Turtles, super heroes, speed boats and robots. He started second grade last month basking in the carefree world of class time and playing with pals at recess. Then something happened last week that stopped him in his tracks.
He got home from school one day last week wearing a most serious face and announced to his mother, “Guess what I found out today.” His mother could not imagine what brought about such a long face on her happy-go-lucky kid. He cried out, “MY NEW FRIEND IS A GIRL!” She wanted to laugh, but her little boy looked devastated. She held back the giggles and asked him what was the name of this new friend. He replied, “His name is Heidi.”
My daughter grew up watching Shirley Temple movies. They were a favorite at our house, especially “Heidi”. So at first she was not understanding why her little boy had mistaken a girl named Heidi for a boy. My grandson explained that he had not heard that name before and “besides, he looks like a boy and he talks like a boy!”, he explained. She lovingly smiled and asked her son how after three weeks of playing with Heidi at recess, he had finally understood that Heidi was a girl. He said matter-of-factly, “He told me he was!”.
She could hold back the giggle no longer. Her son did not understand what his mom thought was so funny. He found the entire situation to be humiliating and expected his mom to be outraged that her little man was the victim of a very serious con job. He began to explain to his mom that this girl had a haircut like a boy. “HE LOOKS LIKE A BOY!”, he insisted. Mom told him that he obviously liked playing with Heidi and so he should continue to play with her at recess. “And for goodness sake, stop calling HER a HE!”.
I love this story. It lets me know that even with all the talk about “gender identity” and “gender confusion” by adults; children, in their innocence understand that we all are created male or female. There are still stereotypes of what males and females look like and act like. Heidi sounds like she is “tomboyish”. She does not fit the stereotype, but she understands that she is a girl. She is a girl who likes short hair and rough-housing with the boys at recess.
Unfortunately the world will try to shed our children and grandchildren from their innocence and the truth. The truth is that everyone one of us is special and made by God in His image. God does not make mistakes. From the time we are conceived, our gender has been decided and cannot be reversed.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you..”