Carpool Conversation

I don’t know about you, but our Sundays are filled with carpool. We have four boys in three schools and four different start times and end times. It seems I spend lots of my Sundays ferrying boys to and fro.

Some of the conversations really tickle my funny bone, and some just leave me scratching my head.

I had two boys left in the car, one mine, one not. The other kid started asking my kid if he had siblings, brothers or sisters. Any half siblings? Kid said no, but he has plenty of step siblings. So the boy then clarified what he meant. He didn’t mean half siblings. He meant siblings that are half male half female.

My son was rather perplexed at this question – not something you expect to hear out of the mouth of a yeshiva boy. He answered in the negative but shot me a look of “what the heck?”

I was sure when we got home there would be some questions, but I guess he chalked it up to this kid making up stories. I do wonder, though, what was going through this kid’s head. As adults, we know that there are such people who are neither one nor the other, although in the religious community I believe it isn’t discussed at all.

Should I have a word with the parents? Or just let it lie? What would you do?

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  1. fille says:

    My first assumption would be that this boy has someone in his family who (genetically) is neither male, nor female and that he wanted to check out how “normal” it is.

    So I would tell my boy that this exists, perhaps even take the opportunity to talk about x and y chromosomes, and tell him about how frequent this would be (it’s not that rare), and that those persons deserve our respect and that it is just a rule that there are “boy” or “Girl”, but that it does not apply to everybody…

  2. fille says:

    PS: I don’t think you need to check this out with the boy’s parents. I suppose it is enough to let your own boys know that this exists.

  3. rubyv says:

    Yup to what fille said. Good time to stress that we are all made in gd’s image. There is plenty of info online to help you.

  4. batya from NJ says:

    Yeah, I don’t think I would bother getting the parents involved unless the parent is a good friend who you talk to often but I wouldn’t suggest that you call them just to discuss that with them.

  5. Drew says:

    Agree with fille, it’s a genetic condition and it’s an opportunity to teach your boys about science and also about acceptance.

  6. Mark says:

    Which kids were they? (i.e. what grade?)

    It is possible that he (the kid that mentioned it) recently learned a sugya in gemara that discusses this very issue.

  7. I agree that this is a good opportunity to teach your son a lesson about science & genetics, to make sure he is well-informed. And as for the other boy, I’d guess that he was being either A) crude, or B) curious, perhaps as he has encountered such a person in his own life recently & is unsure how to approach it. Maybe he was looking for insight/support?

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