I didn’t want to tell anyone, but in my heart I knew that when I was pregnant with her, Paige was a she. It scared me to death. Boys I knew I could handle (well, at least infant and toddler boys…) and they were pretty easy. Girls. Yikes. I know what little girls, and bigger girls, are like. And thinking of it makes my heart ache.
I looked in the rear view mirror this morning, and saw my little girl playing a newly acquired dinosaur. She was trying to feed it her cereal bar, it was absolutely adorable. Little boys try to trample things with dinosaurs, little girls try and feed dinosaurs. The sight made my heart melt. Then it ached.
I want so much for my daughter, but mostly I want to protect her from all that being a girl entails. There are so many wonderful things, but also so many that just scare me to think about her going through. I know that boys can be emotional (my own son can give any angsty teenager a run for his/her money), and they go through so much as well, but I’m blissfully unaware at this point since I never went through it myself. But being a girl… I’m not sure why, but it’s all still so raw for me. It wasn’t that long ago.
Above all else, I want Paige to be able to be Paige. If she wants to throw tea parties and play with dolls, that’s fantastic. If she wants to climb trees and get dirty with the boys, that’s fantastic. If she wants to pretend to be the first princess in space, that’s fantastic too. I’m so afraid of limiting her, of stifling her, I’m not sure why. It’s a tricky thing, raising a girl. I have zero expectations, and I’m so looking forward to seeing what kind of a kid she becomes, and then later what kind of an adult. I have people telling me she’ll be a girly girl, or she’ll be a tom boy because she has a big brother. I say she’ll be whatever she wants to be, and I hope she doesn’t listen to what anyone else says.
Her individuality is what I want to protect, nurture, and help develop. In a world where there’s so much emphasis on being trendy and cool, I hope she can remain her own person – and of course be trendy and cool at the same time if that’s what she desires. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care if she was into Hannah Montana, or the little boy bands, but if that’s what she wants to be a fan of, I’m certainly not going to stop her or tell her she’s silly to like those things.
Watching her and her innocence makes my heart ache these days. It also warms it and makes it flutter in ways I’ve never know. I’m thrilled to have been blessed with a boy and a girl – I feel like I have the best of both worlds. But Paige makes my heart do different things than Fynn could ever do (and vice versa) – Paige makes me remember what it was like at times to be a little girl. And for better or worse, for whatever reason, that makes my heart ache.