Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Girls scare me a little.

First, let me say this: I'm thrilled to be having two girls. It's going to be wonderful in countless ways, not the least of which is the fact that they can borrow each other's clothes, thus saving us precious college fund money. Seriously, though. I love girls. I am one. I think we're smarter and more mature and generally better adjusted than our male counterparts. Sure, we're really mean to each other when we're adolescents, but that passes. We generally don't go around starting wars and committing genocide and raping and murdering and pillaging. All major pluses.

I've been thinking a lot over the past few days about why I was hoping for boys. It has actually been A.'s reaction to the fact that we're having two girls that has helped me understand it better. He said, "I feel like this takes a lot of pressure off of me." He doesn't have to teach them "how to be men," or how to fight back (or not fight back), or have the dreaded sex talk with them. Not that he suddenly thinks it's going to be all piggy back rides and getting his hair braided (thank you for that image, SER). But, he definitely feels like he's got a little more leeway somehow. Interestingly, both my father and his father independently said that while a boy and a girl would have been nice, two girls would be their second choice. Little girls love their daddies, and daddies love to be loved by their little girls.

I guess I felt the same thing about having boys: there wouldn't be quite so much pressure on me to be a role model or confidante. I could just be their adored mama, who they think is the most beautiful and perfect woman in the world. In short, I wanted to create a little man or two to worship and depend on me. It's all so damned Oedipal, isn't it?

With girls, it feels more complicated. What if they hate me? What if I disappoint them, mess them up, emotionally scar them, give them eating disorders? It seems like there is so much more potential for conflict and complexity. I fear this, and yet, my relationship with my own mother is now infinitely smoother, simpler, and less antagonistic than my relationship with my father -- more and more so as the years pass. Still, I was definitely a daddy's girl when I was growing up, and my mom and I aren't exactly what you'd call BFF.

I will love these girls to death. I already do. I can't wait to see who they are, and who they become. I just hope I can be the kind of mother they deserve.

Their movements are starting to feel more and more like actual kicks now, incidentally, which is fun. Last night, hand on belly, I even felt them from the outside. It's like having Lucy Liu and Uma Thurman in there. Excellent.


Blogger SER said...

That Shining photo is so unnerving!

You will be a great mom to the little ladies. Yeah, girls are bitches to their moms as pre-teens and teens, but you're right - the relationship improves vastly over time.

I read a quote from Nora Ephron's new book that went something like, "When you have teens in the house, it is important to have a dog, so at least one being in the house is happy to see you." Wise words.

4:59 PM  
Blogger bihari said...

I echo SER: you will be an insightful, focused, funny, smart, very YOU sort of mother (i.e. terrific), and your girls will be so glad to have you.

It's funny--I wanted girls rather than boys (ha!) because though the responsibility scared me, I felt like I'd have an inside track toward understanding them. I would know a bit about what was going on in their heads, and they, being girls, might actually be inclined to talk to me about it as well. Also, I wanted grown-up daughters. Coming to visit your grown daughter when she has her first child is very different from visiting your son. When my mother's here, for instance, she knows where to find everything in the kitchen because I'm her daughter: she knows me, and she taught me how to cook. When TTD's mother's here, it's a different story.

Yes, I think that's what I'll miss most. That and female bonding. I mean, EVERYONE in this house except me, even the cats, has a penis. I'm a little outnumbered.

5:13 PM  
Blogger scruffylooking said...

I have so much I could say to this post. I have a 14 year old and my baby will be 13 in a month. There is drama, they can be snotty and we are usually all PMS'ing at the same time. They are also awesome and funny and they are always good at calling me on my shit.

We also now all wear the same size clothes and really do share. Just be aware that it can backfire, because apparently it's really fun for friends to write on each other with permanent marker. Then sometimes it gets carried away and t-shirts and skirts get tagged.

10:25 PM  
Blogger csla said...

Can't remember if I've posted to your blog before, but if I haven't, congratulations! Twins are the best, at least for each other (that's the way my twin and I feel, anyway).

I always said I wanted a boy because I was afraid of teenage girls (my sister and I were textbook nightmares). Still, when I first found out I was having a boy, I felt a surprisingly big twinge of regret. I was pretty sure I was only going to have one kid, and having a boy meant I wasn't going to get the chance to girl-talk with a daughter, to have her hate me because I was trying to steer her clear of the hell I know that teenage girl-dom can be, that I wasn't going to get to be grandmother to my daughter's child and show up unannounced and clean the house and dig in her cupboards and know exactly where everything is because I taught her where to put things (yes, bihari, I've had the same thoughts as you about mother-dom to boys). I was so much sadder about getting my wish than I ever thought I would be. But, as you've noted, that regret quickly passes because you become so focused on the little person (or, in your case, persons) inside you, on who he's going to be and how he's going to act and how much he's going to love you and how much you're going to love him. And it's all good, no matter what you feel that first time you find out who's inside you, waiting to be born.

12:07 AM  

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