Last fall, I engaged in one of the first of many conversations I’ve had about “manliness” in the past year, and it was with my 8-year-old son.
It was October, and we were enjoying a hot day at the beach. While the weather was unseasonably warm, the ocean remained cold.
Anyone with kids knows that the temperature of the water doesn’t stop them, and as a result, Mama has to brave the cold water too. I giggled and shrieked when the waves touched above my waist, and Isaac laughed at me. But mostly we just laughed together, diving under and over the waves.
On this particular day, we were joined by one of my long-time besties. She and I have been friends for more than 12 years, and she’s often my beach bum buddy. Unlike me, though, she didn’t get into the water.
As Isaac and I ventured farther and farther away from the shore, he turned to me and said, “Why isn’t she coming?” I told him I thought it was because she doesn’t actually know how to swim, to which my then 8-year-old replied, “Ohhhh. So you’re just a manly girl, and that’s why you’re tough enough to handle the cold water?”
Cue my “WTF” face. For a second, I was completely speechless.