Dear Baby Girl,
You both delight and terrify me.
I have spent many a sleepless night wishing for you, and now that you’re on the way I am overwhelmed with emotions. Up until you, I have been elbows deep in trains, dinosaurs, bugs, worms and dirt. Literally letting worms crawl in and out of his shoes!! (Yuck, right?) Don’t get me wrong, your brother also loves to dance and help me cook!
On the one hand, I can’t wait for braiding your hair, watching you twirl and spin in a ballerina costume at Halloween and movie nights. I dream about our Lorelei-Rory style relationship, thanks to pregnancy insomnia and my Gilmore Girls binge!! (I actually want to name you Lorelei, but Daddy says no.) I picture you and your brother playing together and fighting too. I know he’ll love you with fierce intensity because that’s how he loves me.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be driven to “keep up” with your older brother in all arenas. Meaning there will be early victories and also defeats, when you’re just too little to do what he’s doing. I’ve been racking my brain trying to name you, trying to predict your personality and which of us you’ll look like and pick a name accordingly. Will you be a Josephine or a Jessie? (Why does naming girls seem so much harder?)
All these things and more make me crazy excited for your arrival, but every day I’m reminded that I also don’t feel prepared to raise YOU, a girl, in today’s tech heavy, image saturated world. Obviously, no matter a child’s gender, raising them to be responsible, confident and strong is important, but for some reasons girls seem harder! Seems that weekly there’s a young girl in pain from bullying at the hands of her peers or news stories of sexting or girls getting into difficult situations on campuses everywhere. I’ll want you to make good choices about what you wear and who you hang out with, but I know you won’t always do what I want. I will worry about how I’ll inspire individuality, courage and faith in you, in the face of conformity, princess mentality, and an unstable world? I’ll need to teach you to stand your ground, even if that means you’re standing alone. When you hit your awkward stage, will you look into the mirror and pick yourself apart or notice your strong muscles and beautiful soul? I will hurt for you and hope for you.
How can I possibly impart all the wisdom you’ll need by the time you need it? Will you hear me when I say, “you are enough.”
In the end, I’ll lean on my family and my tribe. I’ll work on myself from the moment you’re born to be the best version of myself I can be, I’ll expect your aunts to model good body image and commend you on your strength and intelligence and courage. I’ll ask your father to run with you and point out your strong muscles that make you go so fast and to support you in all your interests, just as he does with your brother. And I’ll be super thankful for those who’ve gone before me and can give me sage advice.