Thursday, April 10, 2014

Girls Are Good

I want to start this by saying that I do not believe that there is a right or wrong number of how many children and what gender combination makes a family complete. I also don't think that everyone needs to have a boy AND a girl in order to experience the fullness of raising children. After all, it's not like we get to choose the gender of the babies we have unless we adopt or abort. (Not a fan of abortion.)

With that said, there is a phrase that makes my heart sad. I've heard it often over the past few years and I wish it would go away. What I am hearing is this...

I'm glad I got all boys. I wouldn't know what to do with a girl!

Sometimes it is even said "I'm glad I didn't have any girls." 

There is nothing at all wrong with having all boys.
All boys is a GREAT thing.
I know several families that are all boys and I love them.
And I don't think every parent needs to have a girl AND a boy to have a full experience. That's just silly thinking.

But to be glad that girls weren't had... that's what causes me to pause and think.

Let's rewind a few years... like 30...

This is me... the girl who was always dirty. My mom tells me she doesn't know how it happened but the stomachs of my shirts were always filthy.

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I was strong willed and apparently had no shame as I saw nothing wrong with throwing tantrums in the street.

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My dad always jokes that he had to read a book because of me... The Strong Willed Child. Yep... I drove my dad to read! He must have been desperate.

As I grew older I further developed my tom-boy ways. I remember thinking it unfair that girls had to wear shirts when boys didn't and I despised wearing dresses. I didn't understand the girliness that other girls were developing. I spent my time in the woods, playing sports, and hanging out with the guys in the neighborhood proving I could do whatever stunts they could. I even got a skateboard for Christmas one year.

I continued these ways straight into college. I couldn't pass up a good rainstorm and a chance to play in the mud!

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Eventually I met a guy who liked me just the way I was and asked me to marry him. Then we began talking about kids and you know what... I was one of those women who dreaded having a girl. I always said "I would like two boys. That's it. No girls. Girls scare me." I probably even said that I wouldn't know what to do with a girl. You know... pink and frilly and MAKEUP! Oh my gosh... what would I do if I had a girl and she wanted to wear makeup? I've never worn it myself.

And then I had a girl.

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A sweet, precious, amazing, unique, girly as they come GIRL.
(She insists on wearing a dress to school every single Wednesday because they have music class... and when there is singing there might be dancing so she needs to be prepared.)

And I found out it wasn't so difficult. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. (So far anyways! She's only 7 1/2.) I found out that all I needed to do when raising a girl was LET HER BE.

I need to let Liza be Liza.
If she wants to wear dresses and dance and sing and twirl all day (which she does) then I need to just let her be. I need to encourage her heart and her dreams... just like I do with my son. I don't need to know what to do with a girl... because she knows what to do with herself.

The most interesting bit in all of this though is how having a girl has changed ME. I say it all the time... My Liza has made me a better person. (And so has my son and so will yours.) I found that my fears were unfounded... even silly. I feared having a girl because I didn't know how to be girly and I thought that would affect my daughter. It hasn't. She has affected me in that way far more than I have affected her.

Girls are not something to be feared.
They are wonderful and exciting and powerful.
They are sweet and giggly.
They are something to be desired... just as so many desire boys.

Girls are a blessing.
Girls are needed.

It's ok to be glad that you got all boys.
But please don't be glad that you didn't get a girl.

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