This photo was taken the first time Baby Girl came to the Santa Ynez valley. She was two years old and we were staying at Windmill Ranch for a friend’s birthday party. We would have never thought that 5 years later, we would be living here. Funny how life works.
And this week we are celebrating her 7th birthday. How quickly those 5 years went.
It would only make sense that the week of her birthday I spend a little time talking about raising my only girl.
If you saw my Instagram post yesterday, you know that we did not find out what we were having for number three. After having two boys, I just assumed it would be another boy and it was pretty easy not finding out. The baby would be named Hudson and sure we had Scarlett in the background (a name from my favorite literary character) but remember, we make boys. When she was delivered and my mom yelled out “ITS A GIRL!!!” and started cheering/crying, I didn’t believe it. I had a girl? Oh my goodness I am so excited! Oh my goodness I am scared to death!
See, I knew boys. I had that down. Now, going into my third child, in many ways it was starting over. I didn’t even know how to properly change a girl’s diaper. It was all foreign.
Fast forward 7 years and it is still very different.
Candidly, I can say that she has been the most challenging of the three children for me. It seems that God decided to provide me with a window into my youth and blessed my daughter with all the good and bad qualities I possess. She is incredibly loving and passionate about life, loves to be a part of the party and adores her family. She is also stubborn, independent to a fault sometimes and can go from sweet and calm to losing her mind in a half a second. I will complain to my husband that she is being such a pain in the ass (yes, I say that about my kids sometimes because you know what, they are) and he will smile and say “you know that is you right?”, which will only infuriate me more. I can’t even imagine what the teenager years are going to be like….
And then there is her, out in the world, and that is the weight that I feel and think about as she slowly gets older. I want to raise an strong, independent woman who believes in herself and what she is capable of. I don’t want her to depend on a man or society for her self worth. I want her to feel capable of achieving any dream she has without hearing “you can’t”. When a man tells her she is less than, I want her to hold her composure and prove he is wrong, without saying a word. I want her to always remain sophisticated and act with class, even when others may push her to behave in a different way. I want her to make good decisions about friends and remain fiercely loyal, treating them like family. I want her to always forgive and be humble, even when it is hard. I don’t ever want her to think that she has to decide between having a family and career. I want her to believe that family and faith are the two most important things she will ever have. I want her to know that no matter what, I am always here for her, cheering her on and knowing that I believe in her.
You know, just a few small details of raising a girl in today’s society….NBD…
OMG. YES. Raising a girl can be overwhelming.
Sure many of these things relate to raising boys too but the difference is that I am the example for her. I am the woman in her life. I need to live this way. I need to show her what it is like to be a strong woman in this world, what I stand for and how I stand for myself. That is where I feel the weight. She watches EVERYTHING and I only hope that I can do as good of a job raising her as my Mom did raising her four girls, who I believe she instilled all of this. It would have been nice if she would have written a manual about all this….
So raising a girl? Is it the best, even with all of this? Yes, I absolutely love it. Sure she drives me crazy sometimes and yes, raising a girl seems overwhelming and scary at sometimes but I would not have it any other way. God knew I needed a daughter and she has been one of my greatest blessings. She is my Mini-Me and I never imagined how much fun we would have together. Plus, I can’t wait until her little girl is 7 and she gives me a call telling me what a nightmare she is being and I can just laugh and say “Payback is a Bitch” (place winking emoji here).
Happy Birthday Baby Girl.