Monday, February 2, 2009

Thank heaven for little girls

I've come to terms with not having daughters years ago. Actually, it was the day I found out my second child would be another boy; I know plenty of moms who preferred to be surprised by the child's gender, but I've always been way too nosy to stand the thought of a doctor knowing something about me that I didn't; plus this gave me several months to get used to it. I know, I could've had more kids, but I was pretty sure I only wanted two, besides I had a friend who had tried for a daughter after two sons, and ended up with - you guessed it, twin boys.

Anyway, I have found creative ways of getting my 'daughter' fix, including betting one of my carpool girls that if she made it through a week without saying "like" as an interjection (vs. its appropriate use as a comparative modifier), I'd take her shopping for earrings. And whenever one of my boys is in a show, I'm always the first to volunteer to help with girls' hair - I spent one blissful Sunday doing french braids on 22 munchkins, and it was heaven! (My mother had a friend with 4 boys, who used to come over and do my hair when I was little - in those days, it was brush rollers and bonnet hair dryers!, how's that for dating myself.)

But recently, I had a new experience with girls. My son invited a neighbor boy to go with us to the movies, and my neighbor had too much work to do to join us, so I ended up inviting the 10-year-old sister and her friend - the boys saw the latest Adam Sandler comedy, and the girls begged to see "Bride Wars". The movie was pretty mediocre, and I hated the basic premise, of best friends who were so set on their dream weddings at the plaza that they became malicious bridezillas playing hideous tricks on each other. But the girls loved all the scenes at wedding planners and beauty parlors and dress shops, and I enjoyed their reactions more than the movie. And since our showing let out 15 minutes before the boys were done, I sat and chatted with them, finding out that they'd both already started planning their own weddings. (One informed me that she intended to be married at a local resort she'd been going to "since I was a child"; I couldn't help it, I blurted out, "Livvy, you're actually still a child!", but she clarified, since she was a YOUNG child.) They both had already designed their own dresses, one a strapless cream satin with yellow beading, the other a spaghetti strapped ivory lace gown with a full skirt.

I have to admit, the wedding-planning stuff threw me a bit. Heck, I grew up in the '70s, where dreaming of weddings was considered prehistorically anti-feminist, and people who got married at all did it barefoot, with flowers in their hair, reciting Kahlil Gibran or passages from Free To Be You And Me. Plus I've had two non-traditional weddings - the first time, we had a 6-foot inflated Gumby posed on the altar, and when I married Husband 2.0, the only venue we could afford was the gym at the local rec center, so we went whole-hog and had our huppa under the basketball hoop. (Huppa is a Jewish wedding canopy, which I also had to explain to the little girls when I told them this story.) However, I got over my squeamishness, and I was able to make a couple of feminist points about 'be equals in your relationships' and 'what if your fiance wants some input into the wedding?' And naturally they laughed hysterically at the second point - frankly, I didn't believe it while I was saying it! But it was a sweet break from my normal mother-of-boys life, since my sons are like 99% of men and have zero interest in weddings. I just hope their fiancees-to-be let me help with the weddings a teeny bit - at least can I do their hair?

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