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Saturday, November 03, 2007

SortaCrunchy Q&A #2 - Raising Girls

What worries you most about raising daughters?

This question, from my sweet friend Corey at Living and Loving Every Minute of It, has prompted a lot of reflection for me.

I remember with vivid accuracy how elated I was when the ultrasound tech moved the wand over my belly and proclaimed over D, "It's a girl!" Over the moon, I was. Visions of sugar and spice, of tutus and dress-up heels, of shopping for prom dresses and a wedding dress, began to dance in my head. "A girl baby! A girl baby!" my nieces shrieked when they were told our happy news. Little girls and grown-up girls alike go a little ga-ga over brand new bundles of pink and sweet. Gazing into those baby girl eyes, we imagine a sparkly future replete with all the glittery memories of our own girlhoods. Pigtails and baby dolls. Slumber parties and puppy love. Phone calls and pom-pons.

As a mother to not one, but now two, little visions in pink, I daydream those sunny futures for my girls. And as a mother, I am sometimes gripped with extraordinary fear when my thoughts take a turn down darker paths. Sometimes it's a story on the news that triggers a nearly paralyzing reaction in me as I consider what evil could be waiting to prey on my precious daughters. Other times, a flash of memory from my own past takes my breath away as I consider how painful it can be to grow from girl to woman. So yes, in the midst of the ribbons and bows, I worry.

For I know all too well the sting of a best friend's rejection . . . She doesn't want to be my friend anymore.

I know the heartache of not being good enough . . . My name wasn't on the list.

I know the sorrow of a broken heart . . . He just wants to be friends.

I know that even if I confined my daughters to our house, that somehow the hurt and the sad would still find its way in. I guess what worries me most is that I am helpless to protect them from the scrapes and stings and tears and blue that are all part of being wrapped up in this skin called woman. I am as helpless as my own mother was to protect me from the many dramas (both real and imagined) that she walked me through and talked me through. As each of us know, those lows that come with the highs and the pain that comes with the joy are all part of what makes us who we are as women. I'll always be fighting that urge to protect them, even as I loosen my grip on their hands to allow them freedom to experience this life for themselves.

There is so much to be tempted to worry over. In the face of that worry, I am reminded to pray. I pray so much for my daughters, but my most earnest request for each is that the love they fall for first would be the ever-pursuing, ever-steady love of The Bridegroom. For if each of my daughters is rooted and established in the love of Christ first and foremost, I can be sure that when the day of hurt and heartbreak finds them, they will have a safe place to land . . . in His Arms.