I sat down looking at her with a black eye.I tried to calm myself down, highed a sigh and finally asked my 10 year old daughter, “You punched him?”
“Yes”, she said shrugging her shoulder like it was not such a big deal.
“But why”, I asked making my tone a little firmer for her to notice.
“Mom, because he kept repeating that he is superior than me as he is a boy and I am a girl. How stupid is that?”, she said rolling her eyes.
As much as I wanted to Laugh at her innocence, I continued “so for that you punched him?”
“He was getting on my nerves. I wanted to show him who is superior.”, she said now with her hands on her waist this time. “Is there a difference mom, are men really superior than us?”
“Umm actually we are same but your dad is a lot stronger than mumma”, I said pointing at my muscles. “But nobody is superior to anybody. its…You are too small for it now, okay?”, I finished ruffling her hair.
“Mom you know I think girls are superior.”, she said staring into space.
“oh really, why?”
“Well, he told me that you left your parents when u married papa.”
“Umm, yes that is how it is.”
“Why did papa not leave his parents?”
“He did not as he couldn’t leave his parents baby.”, I said.
“…but you did mom.”
“You are too small for this. That is how the society works.”, I said for I was at loss for words.
“Mom…Papa couldn’t but you could! That makes you stronger.”
She continued “When I am hungry, you make me food. Always! Papa doesn’t cook dinner.”
“He gets tired from office sweetie.”
“You go to office too but you don’t get tired. See mom that makes you stronger.”
“Hmm you know let’s eat now.”
“You clean the house and take care of me and papa even when you are not well. When papa is not well, he rests mom.”
“Well baby you are thinking too much. You both are my family. Even if am not well I will do everything with all my heart.”
“So you work when you are not well. Mom that makes you stronger.”
“Okay enough of this. Nobody is stronger than the other, now come let’s eat.” I said knowing this is going nowhere.
“Mom” she tugged at me.
“You know grandpa sits by his rocking chair all day and reads newspaper and grandma makes treats for me, oils my hair, cooks. Grandpa doesn’t help her.”
“Now where are you getting this from? Grandpa has worked all his life. Now he is old and tired.”
“Mom grandma has also worked all her life looking after papa and uncle. She is also old and tired but she still doesn’t sit like you. She is stronger than grandpa. See mom we are stronger.”, she ended with a twinkle in her eye.
I looked at her glowing face and at how she unraveled the unsaid in her innocence. I could not fight her on this.
“Yes we are, can we let it be our little secret?”, I said to her.
“Yes mom”, she said winking at me.
Featured photo by Jon Ottosson