Now that Ally is three and Rae is five, there’s been more sibling rivalry in our house the past few months. As Ally learns how to better express herself, Rae is resignedly relinquishing more of her throne, bit by bit. It’s been difficult to watch–and even more difficult to referee. Both of my girls are bosses.
“Bosses” have gotten a bad wrap in our society. They are seen as the scapegoats, the self-righteous, the smug. Part of the damaging effects from our “every-road-is-wide” and “don’t-ever-offend-anyone” culture, is the widespread distrust for those in authority and dislike for anyone who dares to share an opinion that could affront. As the pleasers and appeasers push back on the leaders, Bosses become fearful of being themselves.
This has had a ripple effect on our “don’t-tell-me-what-to-do” society. Parents can no longer define their roles, other than providing food, shelter, and clothing. Children have no idea why they are special or what their place is in the home or the world. The respective roles of husband and wife, male and female, have become so overly blurred that many men and women don’t know how to live fulfilling lives. Chivalry points to chauvinism. Kindness means your nosy. And forget responsibility–that just shows everyone you’re holier than they are. Where or where have all the bosses gone?
Both Hubby and I are first-borns. When we were first married we fought tooth-and-nail over every minor decision. We are both natural leaders–and we are both bossy. Throughout my childhood, I went to “leadership” camps and started clubs, and sought out volunteer work and ministry, never understanding why people always told me I had the “gift” of leadership. I did NOT like being a “leader.” Being a leader meant that in school, the teacher always picked you to organize the group, which meant that you had to listen to everyone’s complaints and try to make the slackers actually do their work. Being a leader meant that in church, the youth pastor always counted on you to organize the elder appreciation dinners and fill in for last minute Sunday school cop-outs. Being a leader meant that with friends, when no one would speak their mind about where they wanted to go or what they wanted to do, all eyes turned to you to make the call.
And whenever something went wrong, the “leader” was the one to blame. So I couldn’t understand why people saw leadership as a gift.
Until I had children.
I love that Rae marches to the beat of her own drum. I think it’s marvelous that Ally has opinions about everything. I want my children to be “bosses” because I want them to stand up for what’s right. I want them to unswervingly defend justice. I want them to be counted on and be responsible, and when no one else will speak up for truth, I want them to shout their beliefs from the rooftops. Because this world could use a few good bosses.
Now if I could just get these two bosses to share…