I think a lot about how I’m raising my girl.
I don’t call her princess; I don’t say things like, “be nice.” I tell her to lean in NOW – as if she’s competing at 14 months. I skip over the page in her Star Trek opposites book* that shows a haggard old woman with the tag “mean” and a young pretty woman with the tag “nice.” I do tell her she’s beautiful, that she’s clever, that she’s kind. I tell her she’s interesting. I commend her sense of adventure. I am in awe of the qualities in this tiny little body.
I don’t know if you’re a pinterester – I am. I love it. I used to use del.icio.us back in the day to organize, pinterest is far better. This post by Lisa-Jo Baker was floating around yesterday, and it brought me to tears.
When you forget your lunch. When you are sheep number 5 in the Christmas play. When you take up the recorder and bleat all the way through the Easter service. When you get that bad hair cut. When you think you want to be a beauty queen, when you swear off fashion altogether.
I will come.
When you say your “I dos,” when you you start your happily ever afters, when none of it quite feels like you thought it would. When you don’t know how to pick a mattress, when the sofa is in the wrong place, when you regret what feels like signing your life away to someone else. When you keep on keeping on. When you remember how to say sorry. When you need a safe place to say how cliche you feel all “barefoot and pregnant” I will so be there.
When the baby won’t sleep and the world’s on fire with sleep exhaustion.
Sweetheart, I will come.
When your husband’s out of work. When you’re down to one car and have moved in with his in-laws. When your job threatens to break your heart. When toddlers make you question your sanity. When you realize that you’ve made the worst mistake a woman can make. When you’ve run out of tears and still the tears keeping coming.
I will come.
Oh Lordy. Y’all, I just melted. One of the things that continues to strike me about this pregnancy is how overwhelmed with love I feel. I was in awe being pregnant with C3, but I had no idea how fierce I would be – how absolutely deeply in love with her I would be. I had no idea how she would change me as a woman – and I can only imagine how the second will too. The post by Ms. Baker struck me as defining what kind of parent I want to be – the I-will-come type of parent. Not the, don’t-worry-I’m-already-hovering-parent or the I’m-too-busy-with-my-own-life-parent or the you-can’t-fail-parent. The parent that delights in all the varied aspects of her daughter’s life.
My daughter’s life is going to be so rich – and so bland, and so hard, and so damn beautiful. I am enjoying as many moments as I can with her right now, but I also look forward to all the others that are still somehow forming out there in the universe.
Baby girl, I cannot wait.
*K told me I missed the point of the opposites page, and that the haggard woman is – in fact – an actual monster. I missed that episode, and I understand his explanation. However, I still am really careful to see the nice=pretty=girl creep that happens in literature and television. It’s, like, everywhere. And all I can say is “eww.”