So, the big news in the monkey household is that there is a little GIRL monkey on the way!
My husband, he who is one of five brothers and the father to three boys, is over the moon excited. I am excited too…excited with a small dash of terror.
Now, I’m sure there are challenges of growing up as a boy, though, frankly my older step-sons have made it looks fairly easy. Not that they were always easy to parent but they didn’t seem to have the same emotional trauma and drama in the junior high and high school that marked the experience for me and many of the women I know now.
I all to keenly remember the particular challenges of being a girl, especially those terrible years of late elementary school through high school. You could not pay me any amount of money to become a junior high student again. I hit puberty early and went through an awkward phase that seemed to last forever. I had girls who were my “best friend” one day tell me that they hated my guts the next day and I never knew why. My clothes were never right, my hair was weird, I never felt cool, not one day.
And I don’t necessarily want my daughter to be cool. Some of the most interesting adults I know weren’t cool for most of their lives. I just want her to feel comfortable in her skin and to know that she is more, so much more, than what some eight grade slam book says about her (for the record, I got on the “biggest boobs” page on the slam book but also on the “nerd” list). I want her to be, as Anne Lamott says, “militantly on her own side”. I want her to know that she is loved every day.
I also want her to know that she’ll never get to own a Bratz doll or any article of clothing that has writing on the butt (no “sassy” butts in the monkey house). She can be a girly girl or a tom boy. She can grow up to love boys or girls. She can be a dancer or an athlete or a rocket scientist or a teacher or, well, anything but a reality tv star.
I can’t wait to meet this kid.
Can we have a small moment of silence for the boy name that we won’t be using after all? Fare thee well Oscar Thelonious, may someone else use you in good health.