When my daughter was born almost 11 years ago I had never experienced a love so profound. I can still clearly remember the very first time I felt her kick inside me, and the the first time I saw her naked, wet, pink body when she emerged onto this world. Back then I truly believed that when it came to nature vs nurture it was surely all nurture and no nature. I was going to prove it to the world! When my second was a boy I thought my case would be even stronger, now I have one of each and the world will see that we will raise them as human beings without gender stereo types...How wrong I was! Sure my daughter played with trucks and wasn't afraid to get muddy or climb a tree. My son loved the color pink and had a favorite baby doll, but early on it was clear there was something more "Bam Bam Bam" about him that I had nothing to do with. Nature had something to do with it after all. I quickly realized that while the influence of parenting and all those around us has a profound effect on our little people, there are certain characteristics built into them that I cannot control.
So on with life we have gone, raising these two little people as best we could trying to teach them right from wrong, teach them to respect themselves, those around them and the earth we inhabit. Most days it feels that we have done a pretty good job.
There are young girls all around her going through the same things. There are girls on the gymnastics team, friend, neighbors, the limited media that she is now exposed to. Her father and I are no longer the only influence in her life, and she has learned that we may not always be right. She has learned that she has her own thoughts, opinions and idea. We nurture and encourage this of course, but are well aware that this is a challenge that has been set-forth. A challenge to us as parents, and a challenge to myself not just as a mother, but as a woman.
I accept this challenge, though it is intimidating at times. This kind and gentle girl deserves it, together we will grow and change and develop. We will find strength in each other and ourselves, we will surround ourselves with women who do the same and we will try and help those that don't.
Funny, how the color pink and playing with trucks seem so much less important now...