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Since we are always on the topic of kids around here these days

I confessed to G. over dinner today some of my worries for my children and their immediate social future, informed by my observations of their interactions over the summer so far. (Or: four year olds are rough, man! And I don't mean physically.) These are the kinds of worries I really can't do anything about, so they just run their little routines in the back of my head. But sometimes it's good to give them an airing out. And to remind everyone that I am not always preternaturally self-assured but have that vulnerability thing too.

April is going to be the weird one. This isn't a worry, it's just fact. But I worry about what that will mean for her. I worry that she'll be lonely and isolated and won't have any friends. I worry that people won't know what to make of her very girly exterior and her very non-girly behavior, her physicality in particular. I worry about scapegoating.

Simone, I worry about her complicated gender throwing people off. But it may be that it only throws girls off (OK, and adults); I predict in fact that it's likely that Simone will end up being "the girl" (or, you know) and most of her friends will be boys. And I worry about the effects that status will have on her and her sense of self. I worry about her clear and intense need to belong to a group, to have lots of friends. I worry about her sensitivity to name-calling. (April doesn't care. She just gets impish in response.)

I think one key will be to mind the diversity, and another will be to attend classes and find activity buddies. Sports, too. Lots of sports. Sports and the library, that's my future now.


Keeping in mind that I don't really know you or your kids, as I've not met you in person, I just have one thing that popped into my head as I read this really wonderful, heartfelt entry:

From everything you've written about them, and the care you express for them, your kids are already shaping up to be amazing adults, whomever they turn out to be.
Martial arts sounds like one possible activity for both girls.
We've been having extensive conversations among adults on this very subject :) I promised Simone we'd check out a karate class but I am leaning toward capoeira at the moment.

I'm a fan of the mat styles in part because rolling & fall are the kind of skills that can save one's life.
I'm not a parent, so I can only imagine how hard it is to foresee difficulties that lie ahead of your children, yet know you can't make everything smooth for them. Regarding April, all I can say is that many of us, possibly the vast majority of your SF acquaintances, grew up as loners, not really fitting in, and perplexed by a lot of social assumptions (fashion, small talk, what others think, etc.). Sure, it's painful sometimes, but eventually we found our tribe, and I expect April will too.
Er, I didn't mean that to sound flip. It sounds like your efforts will spare both kids as much of unnecessary pain growing up as possible. I do feel sure that April will eventually find kids to fit in with, though I suppose it may be harder than usual since she's paired with a gregarious twin. Good luck!