So it’s different being the mom of a girl. To be really honest, when we found out Boochie was a girl, I cried for a few minutes. I had my heart set on another boy that would love me just the way Poodle does (and that’s a lot). I wasn’t sure I knew how to mother a girl. I’m good at watching baseball and playing pirates and Star Wars. To be honest, I had to learn how to do those things so I’m not sure why I thought it would be harder with a girl. After all, I am a girlie girl. I know how to play girl games. After I got over the initial shock, I was really excited to start buying girlie things for what I was sure was going to be my girlie girl (the jury’s still out on that one—she’s surrounded by 7 year old boys all of the time). That excitement hasn’t worn off yet. Every time I leave the house I can find hundreds of things she “has” to have. I’m learning to manage my expectations for her and who she will really turn out to be.
The things that worry me now are so much more serious than tea parties and dresses. It’s hard to grow up in the world as a girl. The pressure is so much greater than that of a boy. Little girls now aren’t little girls for long. I’m stunned when I go to Poodle’s elementary school at the way some of them are dressed. Where are their mothers? More importantly, where are their fathers? My parents wouldn’t have let us out of the house looking the way these little girls look in a million years. We wouldn’t have had the guts to try. So now I worry about how we’re going to handle it when Boochie comes home from school and is devastated because we won’t let her dress like a teenager when she’s 7. I don’t want her to be the nerdy kid in school, but I do want her to remain true to her beliefs and values. There’s nothing wrong with being a nice girl. But it seems to me that increasingly it’s getting harder and harder to be the nice girl in school and not be an outcast. Carrie and I were always the nice girls…our mom wouldn’t let us treat anyone ugly. EVER. I’m sure we both had some questionable moments, but for the most part, we were both kind and polite while managing to not fall down into the abyss of un-coolness.
And while we’re on the topic of nice girls, true friends are hard to find. Even as an adult girl, jealousy and ugliness still rear their ugly little heads. I pray that I’ll be able to convey to Boochie how valuable true girl friends are. The kind that you love unconditionally and that love you back. The ones you can cry and laugh with. The ones that are with you when you get married, have a baby, lose a family member. The ones that know the best moment of your life and the ones that know your worst. Several of my true friends, I never would have seen coming. I thought we didn’t have enough in common or that our personalities were too different to form a lasting bond. I’m glad I was wrong. I long for Boochie to have a sister someday (imagine what that child’s nickname might be) because I believe with my whole heart that having a sister changes the way you relate to other girls. And I want that for her. Really, I want that for every little girl in the world.
So, I’ll work diligently to raise a kind, polite, lovely little girl who knows how to treat others and how to stand up for what she believes in, no matter the cost. And hopefully she’ll enjoy a good tea party now and then too!
Here's our tomboy in training. Picture taken by the always fabulous Alyssa Maisano. You can find her work here.