So, I never thought I would have kids, much less a daughter. The thought of having a daughter was like…well…there wasn’t any thought of it. Because I just KNEW that if I had kids, I wanted a son. A son just seemed easier. Like, I wouldn’t have to have “the talk” because, obviously, as the opposite sex parent, I would get to be oblivious of all those nasty things that happen to boys during puberty. I wouldn’t have to explain that it is totally natural. I wouldn’t have to pull a Dan Connor and advise him to “put a book in front of it”. Because…gross. I don’t want to know about any other uses for your books than reading, kid. That’s Daddy’s department. I don’t have a penis.
But then I found out I was pregnant. With L. And she didn’t have a penis either. And holy shitballs, you guys. What the hell was I to do with this tiny female fetus? A fetus that would eventually go through a totally different puberty that warranted ZERO books. Puberty is totally shitty for girls. Because it isn’t just embarrassing. It is messy as hell. And, much like in pregnancy, things happen to your body that you not only can’t control, but don’t understand. And those things make PREGNANCY, like, POSSIBLE. Which is terrifying. And maybe the thought of that is MORE terrifying for the PARENTS of these little things. Because no parent wants a pregnant, barely pubescent kid. And you, as the parent, are responsible for making sure that this little spawn of yours understands that all this mess and embarrassment comes with some responsibility. How do you teach this to someone who can’t even drive a car? Or drink legally?
I know I have a little while to stew on this, you guys. L isn’t even two. Right. I get it. But I definitely think about it a lot. Because as her same-sex parent, I want to make sure that I am a role model. And an information source. A trusted one. Because I sure as shit didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about anything like this. But I also waited until I was 19 to have sex. And with someone that I genuinely loved and trusted and planned to be with forever. And I definitely don’t regret that three-year relationship. Because I was responsible. But not because I had anyone explaining why I should be. But because I am just a pretty logical person. And I am kind of scared of everything. So…the combination did me well. I just want to make sure that my kid…you know…isn’t a total ignorant mess about the whole deal.
There are SO many things I worry about with my little lady. As she grows, I hope that she doesn’t ever get caught up in bullying. I hope she isn’t bullied either. But I hope that if she is, she will be strong and confident enough not to fall into a trap that threatens to ruin her. Because she is beautiful. And she is already so smart and funny and amazing. Kids are so mean. And society is mean to kids. We make them believe that they have to be this impossibly beautiful, thin, imaginary person. We make them small. We make women small, in general. And women are NOT small. We are the center of the universe, ladies. We are where life starts. And we are responsible for the next women. And we will plant the seeds for the women after them. And we have to do them proud.
And this scares me.
We don’t need more Kardashians. (Please, Cheesus, no more Kardashians.) We need more strong, brilliant, beautiful women. Women who are strong because they are proud. And not women who are famous for the size of their asses. Or whatever those Kardashians are famous for…
We need to lead by example.
It is especially daunting because, though I know I am strong, I am sort of delicate. I have anxiety and I like to blend in more than I like to be seen. And I could definitely benefit from being a little easier on myself these days, after two babies in two years. I have to be the one to show L that she, despite whatever flaws she might think she has, IS BEAUTIFUL. And to do that, I have to start recognizing the beauty in me. Because that’s where it all starts. With me.
8 thoughts on “Daughters”
Dear god can I understand. I’m trying to hurry up and deal with my own personal merde so I can try to instruct my daughter. It’s terrifying.
I hear ya…although I think its up to the opposite gender to teach about that gender…ironically I just wrote a post about how I’m going to teach my boys about girls (we are totally thinking this through aren’t we?) and that if I had a girl, I’d want my husband to teach her about how to co-exist with boys……nice thoughts!
You said Cheesus and that makes you awesome. But I already knew that from reading your stuff. Oh I share your fear with my own little pawn. She is just the most beautiful, but scary, thing in my life. My only hope is that I can be the shining, positive example that my pawn will need in her life.
You seem well on your way to being the example that yours needs.
I thoroughly enjoyed this post and I think you are spot on with your thoughts.
It popped into my mind, it’s a really sweet song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZLbUIa7exE
It’s like you wrote what is in my head but way way better than I ever could. I totally worry about all the same things- and then also the ones that are not related to girls specifically- like drugs, and texting while driving- . And I was scared and good too, and I am happier to be a little in the balground and god how does anyone raise a strong capable woman? I know it is doable but so so scary. Ou are a few months ahead of me so I will continue to look for advice from you!! Thanks for the post!
Lol, when I was pregnant I knew it was a girl because that is what scared the bejesus outta me. I cried tears of joy when that little penis appeared on the screen! 🙂 of course, being a single parent “the talk” still fell on me and I’ve been so very clear that he should wait but in the name of all that is holy, please wrap that sucker up!
The responsibility of it all is so overwhelming. I am not sure if we will have a 2nd child, or if we did..who knows whether we would have another boy or a little girl instead. I secretly hope to have a little girl, but you are right…there are a lot of messy and unfun things to consider as the same sex parent!
What are the Kardashians famous for? It’s never been clear to me. Wait, don’t tell me. Turns out I don’t really care.
But I’m with you even if I have no answers. I think it’s generally about self-esteem and then assessing risk and making choices wisely et al but how do you actually teach that?