Lisa M Beamer
If you have found out for certain that you're going to have a daughter, or merely suspect this baby is a girl, you probably have a lot of unanswered questions. What are baby girls really like? Lisa Beamer reports from the front lines of parenthood, and relates some good news. Little joys
After having two boys, I was thrilled to learn that the third child I was carrying was a little girl. I loved having my boys, but after several years of trucks, dinosaurs and dirty fingernails, my thoughts immediately jumped to all of the things that typified little girls for me: dresses, hair ribbons and shopping sprees, just to name a few.
I've not been disappointed, as my daughter loves pretty clothes as well as accompanying me to the mall. She's my shadow when I cook and clean, and we enjoy "girl time," painting our fingernails and playing with her dolls. The fact that she likes to imitate the things I do is endearing, and I'm treasuring it now because I know it won't last forever. While she's willing to indulge me, though, I'm going to revel in our girl time.it's the greatest thing I' ve found about having a little girl!
There are wonderful things about children of both sexes, but what is it about little girls that parents just can't get enough of?
Overwhelmingly, little girls invoke memories of playing dress up with dolls from our younger years. April Schmidt says of her now grown daughter, "It was like my favorite dolly from childhood came to life." Dressing baby girls up is a delightful experience, as Michelle Pearson recalls with her daughters, "I loved the frilly dresses, the bows in the hair, the little patent leather shoes, the ruffled socks."
Indeed, pink is often the color of choice for our little ladies, but the nice thing about girls is that it doesn't have to be. "One good thing about having a daughter is that she can wear hand-me-downs from both genders," muses Pam Kock. "A little girl looks just as adorable in a sleeper with race cars printed all over it as the boy who may have first worn it. A little boy, however, looks positively ridiculous in lacy pink nightie from his cousin."
As girls get older, moms and their daughters might get to enjoy sharing their wardrobes with one another. "It's great having a daughter to swap clothes with," says Dwana Bain. "In my thinner days, I had pretty young taste in clothes, so my daughter actually loved borrowing them."
Aside from playing with dolls, there are other fun activities that seem tailor made for moms and their girls. Says Betty Kunze of her elementary-aged daughter, "She enjoys baking and cooking. Since these are some of my favorite activities too, its a lot of fun to do them with her."
Doretta Thompson and her 15-year-old daughter share a favorite activity as well, " The best thing about having a daughter is having someone to watch girly movies with. My daughter and I love romantic movies, especially comedies. We like to rent oldies and stay up all night watching them. We go to all the corny movies that men hate. It's so much fun!"
"Girl talk" is another thing that mothers and daughters can have fun with. Whether the topic is boys, school, girlfriends or just life in general, mothers have the opportunity to share in the life of their daughters by listening. Conversing with teenage daughters isn't always easy, but mothers sometimes have an advantage, as Pearson has found. "We seem to have a much more adversarial relationship now than we had even a few years ago," says Pearson, "But I can also relate to their experiences because I was there once!"
Sharing the Common Bond
For a mom, one of the greatest things about having a daughter is sharing that common bond of being a girl.someone like you, someone who is a part of you. This is evident from a young age, and it is what gives mothers the hope that as their girls get older, their relationship will develop into a special friendship. Reflecting on her relationship with her own mother, Kunze shares, "My mom has a different relationship with my brother than with me. It's still more of a mother-son thing, whereas my mom and I have more of a friend kind of relationship."
Ginger Weeber sees this common bond with her 6th grade daughter in a slightly different light, "A daughter is someone who is so much like you, you share so much, yet she's very different. It's neat to have someone so like you, but have their own personality."
Link to the Future
Our daughters are also part of our futures, and preparing them for their future is a great part of what we do. Terry Schmidt likes to show his daughters the finer things in life and to be a good example of what a man really is. "Although the modern generation might not agree with my thinking," says Terry, "It is nice after spending so much time teaching my boys to be tough, to turn around and teach my girls that softness is not a weakness," a lesson our daughters need to learn.
One of the things Weeber enjoys most about having a daughter is the fact that so many more opportunities are available now. She feels she can help her daughter develop into who she wants to be -- more chances to do so than Weeber feels were available when she was a girl. Says Weeber, "I can hopefully send her into the world with more confidence... knowing who she is and not having to be something for someone else."
Our daughters are a part of our legacy. As we raise them, they learn from us and will model us in many ways. April Schmidt sometimes wonders about the role of mother and daughter. "It occurred to me once as I was helping my daughter to bed that when I'm in my nineties, the roles may be reversed, and she will be helping me into my pajamas. To me, this is the greatest thing about having a daughter."