It's time to lose your mind and let the crazy out.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

This is a Story of a Girl

"A girl," the ultrasound technician says. "A girl?" John's and my eyes get big. "Yes, a girl." Neither one of us were expecting a girl. I don't know where or how we got the notion that it was a boy, but we did.

Can I properly raise a girl? I have mother/daughter issues. I know John is thinking along those same lines- he was a teenage boy not so long ago. Already this little one is full of surprises. Don't get me wrong, when I think of babies, I think of girl babies. Girl clothes are so much better, and bows, and ribbons for her hair. What mom or woman doesn't want a little girl? It's not the "little" part I'm apprehensive about. It's those pesky teenage years, and sometimes way past the teenage years. I haven't been shy about admitting the fact that my mom and I did not see eye to eye on everything, or sometimes anything. From about the time I was 12, my hormones were raging, and her cancer was diagnosed. A more unhappy combination could not be found. Just ask my dad. You name it, we fought about it, clothes, boys, cleanliness of rooms, driving, whatever. I was the typical obnoxious, gangly, sex-crazed, know-it-all 16 year old, and my mom was the exact opposite (except maybe for the know-it-all part...and maybe the sex, but let's not go there)

Boys are easier, right? Boys don't carry around all those emotions, sulking for hours in their room, talking for even more hours on the phone, and god knows what else.

I looked at John in the waiting room, and said, "at least I might have 12 good years with her before she hates me."

The only thing that keeps me from dwelling on all this so much is the good examples that go before me, mostly my sister, Christy and her daughter, Abbey, and the Sutters; Sue, Sally and Jill. I imagine they have their spats, but they seem to get along and like to be around one another, and that is encouraging. History does not have to repeat itself. I know this. I am banking on this.

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  • At 10:43 AM, August 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i have experienced families that fight like cats & dogs in public, and i know if i were them, my feelings would be hurt, but somehow, i'd still call them the most close-knit family i know too. weird. i think you have a good shot of being like that...you'll be a great mom to that little girl. can't wait to pick out all kinds of pink crap...becky

  • At 11:02 AM, August 17, 2007, Blogger happylaney said…

    "Pink crap" is right. My god, have you seen all the disgusting pink and purple things made for baby girls? They make me want to gag. I know I said I like ribbons and bows, and I do, but what I don't like are onesies that say, "spoiled" on them with bling. I told John last night while we were walking through Target that we were not putting one of those headband elastic bow things on our little girls' head. He, of course, had no idea what I was talking about. I know I don't want a pink comforter, and lampshade, and diaper holder, and trash can, and bed ruffle, and whatever else they make. I can not let society suffocate our little girl in pink. Pink has to be integrated into the decor, not swept through like a wave of Peptol Bismal.

    Anyway, you can see this pregnancy makes me full of opinions and tirades and soapboxes.

  • At 4:27 PM, August 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh, i see, the pregnancy did that to you, huh?
    ;) becky

  • At 5:28 PM, August 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congratulations! We would take 5 more little Valerie's in a heartbeat. Although, she is showing teenage tendancies girl already--loves to talk on the phone, boy-crazy (prefers her uncles to her aunts), talks (gabbers) nonstop... I also had the opinion of the pink crap that you have before she was born, but I have grown to love pink=) cori

  • At 10:51 PM, August 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    After having 2 boys and then finding out I was pregnant with a girl, I FREAKED! What am I going to do with a girl, you know me! Anyway, I adore her, but she is just like me and is only 2 1/2 and it scares me everyday. But she is fabulous, has her own personality, is beautiful, drives me nuts, is tenatious, but give me the biggest, cutest smile and tells me I'm pretty all the time, especially when she knows she's in trouble. How can you go wrong? :)

    -Texas Nat

  • At 5:39 PM, August 18, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks Elaine! You and John will do a great job raising a daughter. I already think John will be a total pushover when she bats her beautiful eyes. A little advice if you want it. Remember that great relationships start early. You cannot expect to have a great rapport when she is a teenager or beyond if you do not start right away. Communication is key and that means listening as much as telling her what she should be doing.Don't be afraid to say no. It is important to be the parent, but also don't overdo it. Pick your battles,but be prepared to give in sometimes, but on those major issues that John and you feel are really important - hold your ground. That's enough unsolicited advice for now. I am sure as your big sister I may be tempted to give more, but you can always tell me you've heard enough. =) You guys will do great! I love you, Christy

  • At 8:58 PM, August 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have to weigh in on the pink issue and the girl/boy issue...

    My mother disdained pink- I could feel her disgust at the thought of dolling up a little girl in pink and know she thought the idea of marking your child with pink clothes was just totally rediculous. It made me uneasy- I could tell that she felt that dressing your girl in pink was another way the world forces girls into certain expected roles... After she died I allowed myself to like pink. You know what- if I like pink it's no big deal to dress my kids in pink. very liberating, actually. Your mother, on the other hand, dressed Hannah in frills head to toe...pink frills at that!!! --wow, how could she not feel my mother's pressure to NOT DO THAT!! pretty cool to have both mentalities of mothering, actually.

    Anyway- the only thing better than having a girl-- is having a boy AND a girl. They influence eachother and broaden their life experiences... so I hope you have at least one of each and I hope you dress your daughter in whatever you want --not in whatever you think will keep everyone else happy.

  • At 9:38 PM, September 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I' sure that your daughter will love you, the most, of all, for more than 12 years. She will have a mom who is passionate, considerate, smart, driven, loving, funny, witty, intelligent, thought-provoking, a good listener, and most importantly, concerned about her well-being.

    You wont make the mistakes your mom made. We try really hard as moms, not to make the same mistakes our moms made… we will make other, hopefully not more terrible mistakes. I’ve known you all 31 and some years and I love you, and I’m a girl :-)

    I think you are blessed to have a daughter. I think your daughter is blessed to have you as a mother. I think you will both learn a lot from each other. I think mothers and children’s souls make arrangements with each other – mothers accept, nurture, feed, and shelter this little soul in their bodies (and then again once they’re born) and in exchange, mothers and children learn things from each other, on a soul level. Your mother, tough as she was, taught you, shaped you, and tried her hardest to mould you (good luck Hope), and you became one of the most wonderful, radiant, magnificent, outstanding women I know. I am sure… I guarantee… your daughter will be as exceptional.

    Plus, you have my mom as a guide to use for motherhood as well. Natalie and I never went through that teenage crap with our mom. Perhaps, she should have disciplined us more, but I think she did the right thing by letting us free as teenagers. You do the hard work WAY before 12 years old… you just have to hope you did a good job up to that point, and then try to let them go. We’ll see how well we do with this letting go/teenage phase when we get to it! That’s still 12 years away!

    Also, finally... the best part about having a girl, is that you can teach her to do things DIFFERENTLY! She doesn't have to be whiny, or bitchy or spoiled or whatever other preconceptions you have about baby girls. You can raise her however you want... that's the beauty of parenthood... you're in charge, for a little while, actually, I take that back... you're never in charge (especially when they are 2! ;-) But your opinions, ideas and the way you do things really matter a lot



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