I was a Tomboy Not a Boy

Danielle went through a major tomboy phase in life and in fact, still identifies as more of a tomboy. When she was young she had a spiked mullet because that’s what the boys were wearing. She discusses how grateful she is that her parents let her go through these phases and not make her identify as a gender other than the one she was born with. She also realized she was a tomboy not by accident or choice. God prepared her to be raising two boys and a little tomboy-girly girl of her own one day.

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Welcome to the Crying in my Cheesecake podcast. I am Danielle your host here, and I am so grateful that you are here. Today we’re going to talk about, yes, this topic of I was a tomboy growing up and I’m not a boy. I don’t know, I’m just, I don’t have any script written for this episode, but this is just something that’s on my heart right now. I want to flesh through it with you, so here we go.

So as a tomboy growing up, I remember distinctly a time when, I believe I was in kindergarten or first grade, I have this wicked crazy memory and it’s very visual. I can tell you exactly what dress I was wearing all the things. But, there was a time that I did dress in dresses because I think that’s just what my mom dressed me in. It was, I was a girl you’re supposed to wear dresses, that kind of stuff. But there was a time I was like playing on the swing set and I am who I am. I played with all the boys. I grew up playing tag with the boys, playing ball with the boys on the playground and that was where I wanted to be. I truly did not hang out with any girls when I was for sure in elementary school, which that is 100% for sure.

I did hang out with some girls. I’ll talk about this later on, but it was not very much, it was mostly boys and I can even name the boys I hung out with. I remember distinctly it was on the swing set and I was just having a blast. I was swinging really high on those old swing sets. I would probably the same swing set that when I was in kindergarten, I got my finger caught in the chain and it was so bloody and gross and they put that, was it thiamine or whatever it was, that they threw, that nasty stuff that burnt like crazy on my fingers. But I was wearing a dress during that time. And it kept flying up. And this was before, I don’t know, we had this audacity to wear shorts underneath dresses, but it kept flying up and I’m just like, man, I can’t do the things I want to do wearing a dress because, you know, I just it’s who I was. And so I came home and I told my mom, I don’t want to wear dresses anymore, I don’t want, I don’t like that. And then I went through a phase, so my mom’s a beautician. And I went through a phase where my hair was always like super short.

I had a mullet if you’re even old enough to know what a mullet is, I had a mullet and I have so much hair guys. Like I have very thin, like each strand of hair is kind of normal to fine, but I have a lot of it and I had a spike. I don’t even know how to describe. I’m gonna have to find these pictures and share them. But I had a spike, like the whole top of my head was a spiked hairdo with a long curly mullet, I don’t know if it was permed at that time. I did get perms in my hair, all the things, but I legit looked like a boy and I, I mean, I was soft like a girl, but I acted like a boy. And I was just kind of like thinking about that in light of all the news that’s going on right now, it is currently April 9th as I’m recording this.

But like all this idea of people getting to choose their genders and getting to teach children in, you know, kindergarten through third grade about gender identity and all of these things. I never once questioned that I was a girl. I never once questioned that. What I did question was why do I like all these things that boys like, but girls do not. I enjoyed going hunting, fishing, I enjoyed reloading bullets with my dad, reloading shotgun shells, tying flies for fly fishing with my dad. You know, all of these things I enjoyed hanging out with the guys. My dad was a prominent man in the community. I would sit in circles with these men and I enjoyed their company more than I enjoyed the company of women that were in the beauty shop. You know what I’m saying?

There was a distinct difference in the way that people behaved in those, in my mind. And I always, you know, growing up too, I would go hiking in the backyard. We had a kind of a swamp in the backyard. And then we had a bunch of woods and things and we would go, and my brother, I say, we me an my brother. My brother and I would just go and explore in these woods. I remember it being brave to go do that. And you know, I hate snakes. Like I hate snakes, but I will go and shoot whatever I can. I will go and shoot targets. My brother and I would set up targets. We would play cops and robbers and we would be cops and we would have wagons hooked up to our bikes and we would have babies in the back, like baby dolls.

I loved playing baby dolls. Okay. I’m not sure how this played out, but I loved playing house and I loved playing all the cops and robbers and all of the quote unquote boyish stuff. And I think about, you know, God knit me so specifically in my mother’s womb and that he knew my likes. He knew what I would enjoy doing, would I be good at all these things, and I got to explore those things without someone telling me that, oh, the things that you like, or the way that you dress or the way you don’t want to wear makeup or do your hair, whatever, oh, that’s just the way a boy does it, and you might be a boy. I, again, I never had those thoughts and my parents were really good, even though my mom’s more, I would say more, she’s not super girly, but she’s definitely much more girly than I am. I mean, she has a hairdresser, she kind of has to be. It’s, it’s interesting. My parents gave me the freedom to be that tomboy. And then as time goes on and all the things I married into the military, I understand that like that mentality of lifestyle with my dad being a cop, it’s a similar idea of service above self.

And then God blessed me with two boys. Like I get to have two boys and I get to relate with them. I get to take them fishing and do all the fun stuff that I enjoyed doing as a kid. And as I do now, it’s like, it’s like, God used all of those moments of me being a tomboy to prepare me for having two boys on my own and a daughter who wants to learn how to do all those things too and hiking and all of that kind of stuff. And it’s exciting, because like ,she, my daughter is like much more girly than I am, but she also leans into that tomboy side as well. And you know, if I had parents telling me, oh, that that’s a boy or you act like a boy. Well, then that takes away from the gift that God gave me to even become a mother maybe if I think that I need to be castrated and, is it castration for females? I don’t know that answer. Anyway, all that to say it would completely change the way of God’s design of male and female. And while there are some women that are much more girly than I am, and that’s cool. And sometimes I did feel less than don’t get me wrong. I still, sometimes I’m not going to say did, I do sometimes feel less than when I am not a mom like her, or I am not feminine like her. But then I’m like, but man, I’m a bad ass and I can go and lift up this way and I can get under the bar and do this. And I can, I can translate that into my daily life and I can go and explore the world.

I don’t need a man to take care of me. I get to have a man to do life with. Does that make sense? Like I know that I’m completely off the cuff here but, it’s like, I don’t want to need somebody or to feel helpless. I want to do life with my companion, with my partner, with my husband. And I don’t want to need him to open up the jar of spaghetti sauce when I’m cooking dinner or he’s cooking dinner. I don’t want him to have to lift up the dog food because I can’t lift up 55 pounds from the ground and dump it into the dog food holder. I don’t want him to be, have to be required to do the softener salt, to carry kids up and down the stairs, including my 170 pound, 11 year old. I want to be there to rough house my kids. I want to be there and actively be hands on and not worried. I’m going to break a nail or worried that I can’t see or that I can’t lift or I can’t do. And I think that that’s, again, something that we kind of. I guess this is just to encourage those of you, maybe that don’t feel feminine that it’s okay.

That feminism, biblical feminism is this beautiful picture of being a respectable person, nurturing and taking care of being like the admin of your home. This it’s like, I guess that would be in the help mate of your spouse. Biblical feminism does not mean that I am helpless, that I’m weak, that I’m little, because I’m not. I’m not little and I’m not weak. And I can love firing and shooting targets. Like I was when I was a kid. So I had to tell this story real quick. So I remember my dad got a, got my brother and I, some pellet pistols. It was a big deal because, you know, BB guns, like we treated and we still do at my parents’ house and still it’s instilled in myself that I don’t care what kind of firearm it is. Even if it’s a Nerf gun, you treat it as if it is a loaded firearm. And so it was a big deal and we were able to get, you know, a BB gun. It was a big deal, and we got a, like, I had a chipmunk rifle when I was in kindergarten.

Like that was a thing. It was a big deal and got a BB gun. It was even bigger of a deal that we were trusted to have the pellet guns or the pellet pistols. And these pellet pistols were so much fun, but we always ask permission all this stuff. And my brother and I would sit downstairs with, okay, this sounds really bad, but we would take old coffee cans, you remember? Does coffee still come in cans? I don’t, tin cans. You know, I’m talking about we would take old coffee, tin cans, and we would take the wire cutters, not wire cutters metal cutter, tin snips. We take tin steps and we would cut down the side of the coffee can, and then we would cut out the bottom. You know what I’m talking about? Like the bottom tin piece, and then we would, and this sounds so bad, but we would make ourselves a little throwing stars and then throw it into some foam targets and things like that. Gosh, I don’t know how I have all of my limbs and all my fingers, but then we would also take the tin snips and actually create targets for our pellets, for our pellet guns.

And then we would set them up in the basement because one side was more of like an unfinished, dirt, whatever and we’d shoot into that side sometimes. If it was nice out we would go outside and do it. But then we, dad, dad got us a really nice, little target thing eventually with like chickens and hands and stuff, because clearly ours were probably not our targets. Were probably not safe to keep handling. Anyway, all that to say, I loved, I’m a competition person. I loved to beat my brother. I would lose. I would keep, I would keep trying to win. Fishing, so my brother and I, during the summer times, the neighbor would let us borrow their paddle boat. It was like a pontoon paddle boat. I would bring a boom box out there. I don’t know how the fish even like, cared that we were there, like , they bit, because we had a loud boom box going. We would sit there and we would fish all day long this was before cell phones were a thing. So mom would either have a customer drive by and check on us or there would be a CO officer that would drive or ride by and check on us. And my brother and I would come back with like baskets full of fish and my dad would get off of work and he would have to clean them. It was so bad. We had so much fish. Yeah, it was insane. So we would ride our bikes or we’d walk down there and go fishing. But like all of these things in my mind, were not feminine.

Providing food on the table like hunter gatherers. That’s supposed to be a hunter is supposed to be a man, right? A gatherer, supposed to be a woman. I wasn’t necessarily gathering. I don’t like I do not like gardening. That is not my thing. I would rather go hunting deal with that, skin the deer all like, and that’s something else too. I’m literally talking off the cuff, I’m so sorry. But my husband was shot a deer when we were at my parent’s house one season and we drug it up and it was clearly gut shot. It was so disgusting, but like I helped we hung it up and I helped, my husband was gagging and choking on everything and I sat there and I just stood there with my dad. And we both like together just skin this thing and no time and let it hang to, you know, to get all the blood out, all the things. And it’s just, that’s the kind of stuff I love. And you know what I think for me, It’s because memories were made around those activities.

And I felt more understood being in a man’s space than a female space. And again, that doesn’t mean that I’m a boy. It means that I enjoy the company of men, and few women. Because I don’t like to, I think, I guess I can attribute it to the fact that I don’t like the small talk. I don’t care about what you’re wearing quite frankly, as long as your parts are covered. I don’t care what you’re wearing. That’s not my business, I don’t care. If I do ask it’s probably because I really do like what you’re wearing. I’m like, hmm, I wonder if I could wear that too. But I don’t care about what you’re wearing. I don’t care about the weather, obviously the weather sucks. We all know it sucks. I don’t care honestly, about how, you know, kids are, you know, your kids or your kids, like all of that kind of stuff. I want to know the nitty gritty of like, how do I grow my business? How do I level up as a person? How do I grow as a Christian?

How do I grow as a wife and like, You know, you’re like, oh, well I should, I should learn this from a woman on how to be a better wife who may be, but also men who are older and wiser than you, they can tell you what works and what does it, they can tell you their shortcomings and where you can come in and be a helpmate to that spouse. Like, I don’t know, I’m probably making no sense and I’m rambling on and on. And I will finish up here in just a minute, but I just kind of wanted to bring up the point that I am not a feminine woman. I’m a tomboy, but not a boy. And I’m so grateful that I can use the gifts that I had in the personality I have and raise my boys and love them well and teach my daughter survival skills as well, and let her lean into her femininity, whatever that looks like and not think that I am a gay or transsexual or, you know, whatever it may be, that I can still be a female and still love all the things that I love.

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hey, i’m Danielle

I love Jesus. I love my family. And I get joy from having a front row view of people growing toward their goals because of what I’ve taught.

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