To my daughter......

I have four sons....and one daughter. For many years I had been content to be the mother of rambunctious boys. I liked the energy and being a bit of a tomboy myself helped as I kicked around a soccer ball and frollicked in the surf with them. When I was pregnant a third time, strangers would stop me in the street and look pensively at my two boys and say ' Gee I'll pray for you that you get a girl this time.' It was a far cry from the archaic view that boy babies were better. But I was always offended. I liked having boys. I really did and I didn't feel that I needed a daughter to complete the motherhood thing.

My third child was another son. And I was relieved because I had no experience of little girls and the idea of buying a Barbie Doll completely freaked me out.

And then, many years later with a new man in my life, I fell pregnant again and straight away I knew I had a girl on board. I could 'feel it in me waters'. The whole pregnancy was different and somehow more calm. After a thirty-six hour labor I had my daughter in my arms...all nine pounds of her and I looked at her and she looked at me and immediately peed all over me. I'd been christened.

As she grew up, I found myself wanting to buy the frilliest, prettiest dresses and embraced my inner princess. But she was having none of it. She is nine now and still won't wear a dress. Sometimes having another little woman in the house is overwhelming. We are so alike it can be cyclonic when we disagree. She is clever and willful and beautiful. She dreams big and has such a wonderful sense of humour. I do get frightened for her sometimes because this world can still be a scary place for girls. There are monsters out there and whileit's probably a better time to be a woman than any other in history, we've got a long way to go before women can feel safe, without the constant battle to 'prove' ourselves.

She now has a little brother as well and is surrounded by great men who are, along with me, the strong and loving bows from which she will fly as a bright arrow.

I love her so much and because she is so like me, it feels sometimes narcissistic. But she really does 'complete me'. The bewitching mitochondria lives on....my feminine bloodline.

I wrote this article today about the advice I will give as she is ready to receive it.


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