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Gentleman in Training

He was crushed.


And his face couldn’t hide his hurt.

He leaned into my seated body. His lips at my ear. “Sissy said,” he choked out. “Sissy said, ‘it’s ladies first.'”

I followed the end of my son’s finger to the blow up slide where the birthday girl and her three friends clawed to the top and then bounced their way down.

My son watched longingly. Tears on the brink. He’d never heard of ‘ladies first.’

And so I asked him, ” Is it okay that the girls go first?”


No sign he’d heard me. Just sad eyes following the girls’ fun.

I pulled my boy to me and whispered into his face.” Because that means,” I said.

“That means the boys get to go second!”

My son sniffed, his grief deep. “No, mommy,” he said. “It means the boys have to go last.”


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