Curly head flouncing and chin in the air, she stomps up to the teacher affecting her best imitation of an injured puppy dog. "Teacher! Teacher! The boys are being mean to me." Distracted, the teacher looks in the direction of the wild group diving off the sliding board.
"Are they hurting you?"
"Did they say unkind things to you?"
"Well, what are they doing to be mean?"
"They won't let me play what they're playing."
We laugh at the antics of children. The teachers and mothers among us roll our eyes in memory of a similar situation. Perhaps we were the little girl in the fictional account above. Maturity will fix it. The little girl will grow up and quit demanding what she should be well able to negotiate or abandon herself. Or will she?
So what are the "boys" doing all this time? They let the little girl join them. They temper their enthusiastic revelry to accommodate her. They are made to protect her, to free her for what she is made. They push those inclinations aside in the face of a stern Teacher and pull out the guns, chasing after her as one of them. They shoot: "Gotcha!" She shoots back. This was meant to be a competition for the girl.Now it becomes a competition against her. She can compete and she can win. But what will she have to lose in the process?
What kind of competition is involved in your marriage or relationship with the men around you? Do you let them compete for you or do you compete against them? Does it even matter? I'd love to hear your thoughts!