As in introvert I have found this rapidly ending summer to be a little "too much" in my face. I spent two weeks very closely interacting with relatives in July. I returned home to spending parts of weeks with my grandsons, involving planning days full of activities and love and joy. This was followed by a weekend visit from my son and his wife, where I tried to give them a bit of respite from their demanding lives.
This coming weekend I am entertaining another young couple and their 2-year-old that I have not seen in 18 months, when the child was an infant. I still am not sure why they are coming. They want to expose the daughter to marine life...or something like that! While I am flattered they think we are good guides, I am also so done with company. After all, in early October I am going to be on a 3 week trip with my family across China. That should be a pleasure and so exhausting. Those lonely short days of winter cannot come too soon.
The coming visitors are "modern" parents focusing on gender neutral activities and ideas, even to the point of not allowing pink in the nursery. It makes me realize that my ignorance of colors and color stereotypes perhaps saved my sanity. I had both a boy and a girl and therefore our house was full of all types of toys and books and I just let them play with whatever they wanted. They also spent years in foreign countries which certainly broadened their view of the world and gender standards. Seeing men in sarongs and skirts was common. My daughter was a blue jeans kind of pre-teen and teenager and I did miss having the fun of dressing her up, but not the drama that comes with most girl teens! Oddly today she wears designer clothes for her job.
My son participated in sports because we insisted for social and health reasons, but music was his space for retreating and recharging. Today his hobby is songwriting.
While gender neutrality has its place, I think it is better to focus on shelter and rest in any color.