When we started our family, I was prepared to have all boys. Even planning on it. I'd kinda started thinking that way when I used to babysit, and I loved spending time with a family of three boys. Then I married Craig, a man with two brothers- and no sisters. Our firstborn was a boy. When we went through the brief but emotional season of trying for our second child, which took about eight months longer than we'd expected, we were sad thinking that our chance to have two boys close in age, and thus relationship, was slipping by.
When we found out, many pregnancy tests later, that number two was cooking, the ultrasound could not come fast enough. We held hands waiting to see our son floating on the inky screen. So it felt like a bit of a shock to hear the technician's voice pronounce that our little one was... a girl. And not in the "we can't for sure see any man parts, so it's a good chance it's a girl" way; it was more of a "look- she's a girl, all right." And I am a little embarrassed to admit that I mourned a little- I had to say goodbye to the little brother so that I could welcome the little sister.
Because I never had a sister, I had plenty of experience being a girl, but not much relating to a little girl. And of course all my parenting at that point had been with my boy. I'd bought into all the worry about boys being easy, and girls being difficult, emotionally speaking. So this felt like new territory, and in many ways the learning curve was steep.
My little girl has big feelings. Like, BIG FEELINGS. She is so sweet and shy around others, that people who have not been the caretaker of a little girl recently do not believe me that she is capable of crazy tantrums. I cannot bear to tell you details, lest you, dear reader, go from nodding sympathetically to carefully and quickly clicking away in fear. Suffice it to say, girl has some lungs and the ability to flail on the floor.
The flip side to all the terrifying drama is, of course, the beautiful side of those feelings and drama. She is so intuitive and has such a high emotional IQ, she brings a little healing to this too-long-surrounded-by-testosterone heart. And girl loves to treat life like a musical- breaking out into narrative song at any moment. It drives her older brother nuts. The back seat of our minivan is often full of high-pitched, wandering tunes, punctuated with the fierce brotherly refrain, "STOP SINGING!"
This week was a high point for me in mothering my little girl. We went, just the two of us, to her first movie in the movie theater. It was Disney's "Frozen," and it was perfection. I tried to get a picture of her face lit up by the screen as she bobbed her head to the music, but the light was too dim for iphone captures. Halfway through the movie she climbed onto my lap and we snuggled until it was over. The next morning we put on the Disney Pandora station and sang along to musical after musical. I got a vision of she and I going to Wicked together in years to come, and the ballet, and... all the other things my man's man of a husband either won't do, or suffers through, for me. My love of musical theater- born on a kindergarten age trip to see "Annie" on broadway- can still be not just enjoyed but shared with someone I love. And isn't that the best enjoyment of something- in the sharing?
So here's to God's plans- He knew I needed a girl when I didn't. And what a girl I got! Now excuse me while I pretend to be Cinderella whilst cleaning the house.