according to the asian idea of balance our home is “harmonious” as we have both a son and a daughter.
according to the christian belief that God gives us good and perfect gifts we are richly (and undeservedly) blessed.
the differences between the two thoughts may at first seem subtle but i assure you they are not. truth be told, there are few “harmonious” moments in our home these days, but as a family we are experiencing the joy of God’s provision and answered prayer!
i believe that both of our sprouts are an intentional and perfect addition to our family.
which means that i must be just as intentional to raise them according to their differences. in addition, a daughter’s needs, as opposed to a son’s, are quite different.
which explains why i was a wee bit nervous, though totally excited and grateful, when i found out a daughter would be joining our family. see, i had already researched, studied and learned lots of boy things. i had come to terms that the way boys think and act are uniquely different from myself. furthermore, i had made sure i read books for the sole purpose of knowing the names of various types of vehicles and construction equipment and even how some of them worked. i was firmly planted in boy world!
so as i thought about the new “girl” learning curve i would soon embark on, i got a bit concerned. see, i’m not the typical domestic wife. i don’t know how to “play cook”… or to do it for real for that matter. i don’t know how to “play dolls”, “play tea party” or “play dress-up.” somehow i missed those milestones in my own girlhood.
even so, i do know at least one thing about girls. and this is the one thing i cling to as a mommy. girls just wanna… be loved.
you got it, i don’t know much… but i’m hoping to capitalize on the one thing i do know.
so how does one make a complete parenting philosophy based on this one concept?
well, i’m not sure… but i have a few ideas.
for one, i plan to give our baby sprout lots of affection. i figure as a mother you can never go wrong with love and hugs. so even now while nursing liberty i kiss her hands, massage her feet, rub her fuzzy head, and take time to marvel at how beautiful she is. when not nursing i hold her hand (she usually initiates this), tickle her, give her zerberts on her neck and tummy and make sure to look her in the eyes.
in the future i most look forward to doing her hair… ’cause i truly believe that touch, even in the form of what she some may think is mundane, is crucial for a daughter to experience a healthy dose of love.
the other thing i plan to give our baby girl is an appreciation for God’s creation… herself specifically.
i think this learned form of self-acceptance is just as important as the love i lavish on her.
for me, it happened sometime between the ages of 27 and 30. over the course of a couple of years God really began teaching me to love me – just the way he made me. he instilled in me an appreciation for the little things that make me who i am. but most importantly i came to the place in my life that i no longer wanted to be or look different than the way he intended. and i finally came to the conclusion that there are things i wouldn’t want to change about myself even if i could.
and i think it is vital to liberty’s overall mental and spiritual health that she come to this same conclusion… that in spite of what she may not loooove about herself, that she is in fact perfectly, wonderfully and beautifully made – according to our perfect creator’s intentions.
my sincere hope is that she doesn’t waste 27 precious years agonizing over what she may perceive as imperfections… and thus rob her of joy and trusting in God’s goodness. i hope that she enjoys the process of becoming the lady God originally intended when he fashioned her together. and that she has confidence in his goodness, allowing her to fully and joyfully accept herself – completely.
and i hope that liberty, no matter how young or old, will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that her mommy loves her fully, completely, without reservation.
may i be faithful to lavish her with lots of affection and impart in her a healthy dose of self-acceptance.