Friday, June 6, 2014

Pink Expectations

White girl's dress, French, circa 1900.  Thanks, Carolann!

Now that my "condition" is mostly obvious (tall people can hide it longer!), and there is a de minimus chance I'll be returning to Libya anytime soon, I decided to make the big announcement to the wider world wide web: we are expecting a baby girl in October.

We couldn't be more thrilled. We had both felt this one was a girl, but then we had felt that way with Gideon, who is definitely not a girl. 

A girl.  So many emotions crowd the scene.  When I found out that Gideon was a boy, my whole mindset had to change, as I expected to have three girls.  As soon as the earth settled, I immediately started to think about the special implications of having a boy--preparing him to get the priesthood, helping him develop a testimony at an early age so he could have the "why" down of avoiding pornography during the tender years when curiosity can so easily give way to addiction, and giving him space to explore and discover in the early active years.

With a girl, now I am back to square one.  What kinds of things does a mother need to do to prepare to have a girl? I've found dress shopping infinitely more fun than baby boy clothes shopping.  But besides stocking up on pink and pinafores, what is it that I need to think about?

I suppose I will want to give her wings to fly.  Of course I will teach her all about homemaking - creating, sewing, cooking, how to get stains out of clothes (which I'm miserable at - mom, can I send her to you?), childcare - but also about using her femininity to make a difference beyond the home, the importance of continual education, and giving her tools to stand on her own spiritually-grounded feet.  But these things aren't terribly unique to girls anymore, as I will teach Gideon most of it, too.

Perhaps the only truly unique thing about girls is preparing them for motherhood.  That I can do.  And about choices in how to mother.  It's something I've spent 20 years thinking about.  Perhaps I have something to share with our little girl.  And maybe a bit to learn about being blissfully happy through all of motherhood's ups and downs.

Would love to know what you think is special about raising girls versus boys.  What is it that I should think about, and maybe start studying?

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