Philip was not a bad player and got onto the school team.
Greg was thrilled with his son but I would have rather Philip concentrated less on football and more on his grades, which seemed to get progressively worse each academic year. She was becoming more outspoken and rebellious towards me as she grew older. At every opportunity, she would get out of her school uniform or frock that I had instructed her to wear around the house and don jeans or shorts.
Charlene of course went into frocks and skirts whilst Philip wore shorts or trousers.
In time, my husband, Greg, began taking Philip with him to soccer matches whilst Charlene stayed home with me and either played with her girl friends or read books.
I tried to get him to concentrate more on his studies and made him work through a math assignment, but he was in no mood.
OK, I thought, but he's not going to simply sit around all afternoon, so I gave him a choice.
A girl being allowed to join a previously all male squad. Charlene, it turned out, was a better soccer player than her brother and Philip felt that she was showing him up.
Rules and traditions were consigned to the scrapheap of history. There were rows between them over incidents that had taken place on the pitch.
I tried to encourage her to embrace her femininity but buying her nice jewellery and promising when she was older she could get her hair permed and her ears pierced.She looked rather like a boy, albeit a rather effeminate one, dressed up in a girls' school uniform.I scolded her and grounded her as a punishment, but the loss of her hair had been her way of saying that she was done with girl stuff. She was a girl, she was fragile, she might get hurt, he would argue.When they were born, they looked like perfect boy and girl babies.Their babyhood proceeded along very traditional lines.Charlene then had to reveal her true gender and identity, which caused no small amount of consternation.But there was no denying her ability with a ball and so single-handedly, Charlene caused an earthquake.Either he worked through his assignment or he helped me with chores.As Philip would do anything to avoid math, he agreed to help me.My kids seemed to be developing along traditional gender paths.I did all this instinctively as it mirrored my own upbringing as a girl and that of my husband. The kids soon grew from infanthood into a little boy and a little girl.