I wanted to help my grandpa shovel dirt, I was around 8 years old and he wouldn’t let me. He said girls didn’t shovel. I remember accepting that and storing it away as jobs meant for men.
When I was 18 I worked for my uncle who owned a convenience store, it was snowing and he told me to shovel the sidewalk. I didn’t know exactly how and I didn’t think it was my responsibility. I felt very small asking him to show me how to do it, but he did and he didn’t tease me about it.
My children sometimes feel right under our feet and there are plenty of days I want more alone time. However, I will not let myself tell them that boys don’t do laundry and girls don’t hammer nails because they DO. I won’t discourage them from helping because it’s a job I didn’t want to do and their help stretches time, because for them it’s time together.
These are moments I remind myself to not get caught up in the to-do’s. These are the reminders I need.
I don’t think my grandpa was wrong, I think he was trying to be chivalrous. Girls are meant to be treated like princesses. Except even queens have to know how to take care of themselves, and the farm.