The Girl I Was

If you aren't in the mood to read some thoughts directly from the caverns of my cobwebby mind, you must skip this post.  I've been feeling especially introspective lately, pondering past, present, and future, and this is just something I've been thinking about.  I've already discussed my fears of being pregnant, but the truth is that I really look forward to motherhood.

However, the notion of having a daughter of my own someday is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.  Having been through so many of the standard issues that affect teen girls, it's a little daunting.

If you have children of your own, would you be so kind as to add some words of wisdom on child rearing in the comments?  How do you raise a child to be strong, confident, humble, hardworking, honest and self-assured?  I know that we can't have it all, but can we come close?

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If I ever give birth to a daughter, I hope that she is just like I was as a child.

Well...a little less whiny, preferably.

And a little more athletic.

And probably a little more tan, or our relatives will question her paternity (and the Montell show is just not really my thing).

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I want to have the opportunity to take that little girl, the one who is like me (more tan, less whiny)...

...and teach her how to love all of the parts of herself that she somehow forgot (or never even knew) were beautiful.

Her naturally curly hair.  Momma didn't really know what to do with it, but it was always beautiful.

The way that she giggled at everything, and could only make herself stop giggling if she thought of something tragically sad.

Her chubby little nubby legs.

The fact that for many years, any problem in her world (ANY) could be solved with either a) her favorite skinny, deliciously 1980's shiny gold belt, or b) a bowl of her Grandma's vanilla Schwann's ice cream with old-fashioned (read: tin can, heated in a pan with boiling water) Hershey's hot fudge.

This one.

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Those tiny little ears that she thought were the cutest part of her whole body for many years.

That beautiful, pointy-ended nose that she inherited directly from HER father, and he inherited it from HIS father, and so on.  That nose caused her a lot of heartache, especially when she saw it in pictures, but there is no mistaking the fact that that nose carries a family legacy, and it is beautiful.

The fact that she played with My Little Ponies, Barbies, Popples, and Cabbage Patch Kids until she was approximately 14 years old, and was in love with a certain boy band (rhymes with "Few Lids On The Flock")  until she was well into her late teens.

[OK, I lie.  She still loves them.]

The way that she always wanted to grocery shop with her mom, and the fact that she always had to pee as soon as they entered any store.  Like clockwork.  Never failed.

Her sensitivity.  She was [is] insanely sensitive, and felt everything to the core.  She sensed people's feelings without hearing their words, and she cried when they cried.  She just wanted everyone to get along.  She caused her fair share of conflict, but at the core, she was just a peacekeeper.

I understand that I can't do it over.  I can't heal my own childhood woes by projecting onto my own future daughter, but at least if she was like me, I would know how to talk to her and tell her that she's beautiful.  Even when she doesn't think that she is.

I'd know how to reassure her that sticking to her own beliefs and knowing in her soul that she is worthy of love and respect is a right, not a privilege.

We'd giggle together.  Sometimes we'd eat ice cream with old fashioned Hershey's syrup.

But she better not be whiny.

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