I went fro a plump child into a cute girl.
During a walk home from school not long ago, my first-grader was pretending to chat on the phone. I asked whom she was “talking” to and when she replied “My boyfriend,” I immediately got that feeling. It was the same foreboding knot that I felt in my gut when I recently let her 4-year-old sister pick out a new coloring book and she (once again) chose the sparkly”fashion girl” one. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with my kids’ behavior, I know exactly why it triggers my anxiety. It’s rooted in what I know as a woman, which is that seemingly innocuous things—talking to a boy, beauty, and appearance—have the potential to become thornier issues as my girls get older. I love having daughters.
I honestly feel like I was born to parent girls, which is why nothing annoys me more than someone doing the whole “Ooh, two girls? You are so in for it!” thing. But it can feel like walking a tightrope. On the one hand, I’m thrilled for their future. Women are graduating with more advanced degrees than ever before and have more female role models in just about every public sphere you can think of. Empowering ad campaigns such as Always’s “Like a Girl” series go viral in minutes.