Lu's been participating in La Cambalacha's social art program since he was crawling. It's a space for dancing, singing, circus arts, theater, painting, making, and playing.
But I especially like the team work exercises, and that he gets a chance to do something in a group - activities that are not competitive, where the kids learn how to work together.
He sometimes has a hard time with some of the boys, because they can be rough. But he's learning to deal with them, and he's also learning that it's okay to play with the girls. Last week, he came to me saying "Mama, you were right when you said I should see the girls as people instead of just as girls." (Um, yeah. I'm cool and I'm a girl. Right?)
Now, he's been playing tag with the girls instead of soccer with the boys, and with his help, the girls not only took over all the yard space with their game, but some other boys joined in too!
He's very interested in girls right now, but don't tell him I told you. It's funny to watch, because most of the other boys don't want to be seen even talking to a girl, let alone playing. Some of them - the real tough ones - actually sat down when they realized that their soccer field had been overtaken, instead of just joining in the conquerors' game like most of the others ended up doing.
The other boys aren't teasing Lu though. They know that he can play hard soccer too. I think they realize that he's getting the girls' attention, and they're also at the age where they're starting to want it, but have no idea as to how to go about getting it. They're watching Lu and learning (hehe).
I love that he's becoming that guy - the one who gets (as in understands) girls. And the absolute best is when there's also a girl in the group who gets guys. Those are the two who will lead the group upward and onward, beyond stale gender roles and divisions.