The greatest surprise of my entire life was the moment after I birthed my first child and found out she was a girl. Nothing else will ever compare. It has been fun this time around to talk to my little man and watch his little boy room come together, but man, there was nothing like hearing the doctor say that we had a daughter and realizing that nothing would ever be the same. Subconsciously I knew that we were standing at a crossroads and a penis would mean walking one way and a vagina would mean walking the other- but taking that first step was unbelievable. In the days after her birth, I remember the very odd feeling of trepidation for being the Mom of a girl. I felt fear that Purslane would somehow become an incredibly girly girl and demand pink fluffy clouds and Barbies. I thought about cheerleading tryouts and Dora underwear and body image issues. I made mental notes to watch more TLC and have my friend Julia on speed dial for questions about makeup application. It took me a while after she was born to accept that we indeed were going to raise a girl. I always imagined I would have boys.
Obviously I have come to terms with the fact that she is going to be whomever she is going to be and I have even taken a liking to her pink Jeep toy (thank you auntie Beth). She is an incredibly active and curious child and does not in fact seem to have an innate desire to sit in a rocking chair and cross-stich, like I initially feared. I don't think that Grant and I are going to be the kind of parents that force certain gender specific toys on our children, and I have no doubt that she will let us know her preferences. It isn't up to me, really.
Last night she woke up at 5AM and clung to me like a spider monkey when I tried to put her back in her crib after rocking for a few minutes. I brought her into bed with us for the last few hours of sleep, which isn't the norm for us, but my lack of a lap makes rocking impossible and she just needed some extra love. She laid between us for almost 15 minutes and I thought she had fallen back asleep. Then a little hand came up to the side of my face and her sweet baby breath let me know she was about an inch from my face looking at me. In a very clear and precise voice, my daughter said:
"I. like. trucks."
This was her first noun/verb set of words. What a cool kid. And she might change her mind and tomorrow only like baby dolls and high heels, but last night she was all about trucks. That's my girl.