So I thought I didn’t want a daughter. Not because I preferred a boy over a girl, but because I thought I would be doing a little girl a disservice to be her mother.
When I was around 7 or 8 my hair was very thin. I think my mom was advised to cut it short in hopes it would grow back fuller. Around that time I started a new school as a second grader, and everyone thought I was a boy. For an entire year or more of my life everyone did, not just my classmates and teachers. Strangers at restaurants or stores would make innocent comments using incorrect pronouns. I overheard my grandma once looking at a picture of me saying I looked like a little boy. Even when my hair grew out, that feeling that I still looked like a boy stuck around.
Then when I did finally have a full head of hair, I learned it was unmanageable. I have a cowlick right in front of my head on top and another one right in back. So bangs are a mess and the back of my hair has a weird swirl thing happening. I spent adolescents feeling frustrated that I did not know how to fix it, and I went back to short hair. That in combination with some other experiences made me shy away from things that are considered to be girly. I just felt like I was not good at them.
By high school I learned enough to get by. If there was a special occasion though my sister would do my hair. My mom would do my make-up, and I would borrow an outfit from one of them. That actually still happens today if I am going to be totally truthful. After college and spending some time in the professional world though I began to feel more comfortable with myself.
Then I met my husband in my mid-twenties. We were excited when we found out I was pregnant for the first time. Then I was relieved when we found out it was a boy. I really just felt like it would not be fair to a girl to have me as her mom because I would not be able to teach her the types of things girls look to their moms to teach them.
God sure knew what he was doing though. About a year and a half later when I found out I was pregnant again and we were going to have a daughter, I knew I could do it.
I learned from having my son that whether it is a boy or a girl, as a new parent you do not know what you are doing. You have to learn everything as you go. The drive in my belly to do what is right and best for my kids will help me overcome my shortcomings. If I cannot fix my own hair, that does not mean I cannot learn how to fix my daughter’s. And if, bless her heart, she gets my crazy hair, well I now have some tips I can share with her. Also, hair and make-up and clothes are not the most important things I need to teach my daughter about. I have so much more to share with her.
A surprising side effect of having my daughter has been that I have lightened up on myself. I look at how beautiful and smart and funny she is. I always want her to feel as positive about herself as I do about her. Of course I want that for my son too. There was something about having a daughter and seeing part of me in her though that made that feeling actually resonate within myself.
I thank God every day for this little lady, and I cannot believe how wrong I was when I thought I did not want to have a daughter.