My son, Kai, will be 2 in August. A few nights ago, he woke up at 2:17 a.m. yelling “Momma! Momma!”
I stumbled into his room. Snatched him out of his crib. Pulled him close. “It’s okay,” I whispered. “It’s okay.”
He gave me a pat pat pat on my face. Then I felt his little arm stretch upwards and his little face push backwards. “Whoooosh!” he said. “I’m Su-per-man! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Super Kai!
Uh huh. You couldn’t wait until it was light out to tell me that, kid?
It quickly became evident that I would not be going back to sleep. This was Super Kai, after all. We were up humming the Superman theme song, reading books, eating blackberries, pretending to fly.
That night, despite being totally exhausted, the mission of GoldieBlox was as clear as day to me.
See, the thing is, when I was a little girl, I wasn’t into sleep either. There were too many other things to do. Adventures to go on! Stories to read. Stories to write. Quests to dream up. Cleveland Indians games to watch. Baseball cards to collect (yes, girls like baseball. Some of us even know what OBP and RBI stands for. Wild!)
Oh, and I wanted to be Superman, too.
It had nothing to do with gender and everything to do with character and story. Superman? That guy is amazing and he can do amazing, wonderful things. He has incredible adventures. He has a strong moral compass. He deeply wants to help humanity. Did I mention the cape? Why wouldn’t boys AND girls want to be him? Why wouldn’t anyone?
And the real question is: Why aren’t there more girl characters that stir up imaginations so much that their fans wake up at 2:17 a.m. desperate to declare their identities?
Why aren’t there more female heroes who have their own amazing stories, powers, and motives? Why are the girls so often the sidekicks, or over-sexualized, or just plain lame? Why do girls have to live with these characters?
Why do the boys?
Why does Kai?
A friend of mine has a little boy and recently welcomed a baby girl. While reading books to her kids, she realized how few of her books have female leads. And how most of the lead characters who ARE female tend to be…animals. Huh. Are we so uncomfortable with girls at the center of the story that we have to make them puppies or ponies or pigs?
Our girls definitely deserve characters and stories where girls are the heroes. And you know what? So do our boys.
That’s where Goldie comes in.
And that’s why I’m here.