When I found out I was expecting a girl, a million different thoughts flooded my mind. A million different emotions came too. After three boys, I was in a groove and a girl just seemed so unexpected and foreign. I was overwhelmingly excited, but a little nervous too! It was just my sister and I growing up, I really didn’t know what the dynamics would be with a girl and boys in the house. I began asking as many friends as I could who grew up with brothers about their thoughts and experiences. Obviously, they were all so different. But in those conversations, I walked away with a couple things that they all seemed to agree on. A big one was the importance of their brothers celebrating their differences as a girl and not making fun of it.
I didn’t know what kind of little girl my new daughter would grow up to be…rough and tumble, dainty, tomboy, girly, a lover of mud, a giggler when she twirls. It didn’t matter, but it did matter that the boys celebrated her and encouraged her in whoever she wanted to be whether they understood her or not. Turns out she is a little bit of it all.
And it turns out those big brothers are pretty wonderful at teaching their sisters how to throw a football and they make awesome dance partners when the girls want to twirl.
I showed my oldest girl the pictures below and she told me the second one (the photo on the right) was her favorite. When I asked her, “why?” She grinned and explained how it makes her happy to see her brother smile so big while dancing with her. It makes me crazy happy too.
Parenting is hard. I second guess myself everyday. I make mistakes everyday. So do my kids. On the other hand, there are moments like this. Moments when a big brother is headed out the door and his little sister asks for a dance. Moments he chooses to smile and spin her instead of walking away. These glimpses into my kids make me so unbelievably thankful for this adventure of parenthood. The highlights of an adventure are often so sweet because of the difficult parts in the journey getting there. The same seems to be true of parenting to me.
Her favorite part was the way he looks at her. I sure love the way she looks at him too.