For Girls

Just have to share an “I did something right” moment. Aren’t those the best? (And more fun to read about than failure moments….)

Being a girl is hard.

From the very beginning of this daughter-raising journey, one of my goals has been to raise girls who feel pretty without obsessing about it. I’m not sure I believed I could actually do this. After all, how many young girls do you know who actually believe they’re beautiful? I haven’t met many women who have a balanced view of their own beauty. We tend to view ourselves so negatively.

And here’s my 12-year-old, writing from her beautiful heart.

One parenting goal…. accomplished.

malin.brooke

I wrote this for a girl in my class who said I was pretty. I said she was too but like many girls she disagreed with me. I knew there was no use trying to convince her so I wrote this and emailed it to her:

You are pretty. Very pretty. Beautiful! After you complemented me I looked at your face and thought how pretty your face was. I don’t know, it was something about your freckles. AND you’re skinny and fit. My dad asked someone if you could run and he said “Yea she can run, She fly’s!” Just learn to respect that girl you are. She’s Beautiful.

The part I like most is the last part, “Just learn to respect that girl you are. She’s Beautiful.” So many girls need to know this. They want to think they’re pretty, but they’re afraid they’re not good enough for the…

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-hunting and baking . perfect companions-

This is what happens when you go off to kill a coyote in the middle of baking bread.

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I know. It sounds out of character for me. But when a good-looking man walks in your front door and asks if you want to help kill a coyote, you set down your flour and your dreams for perfect bread and just go.

We all know I didn’t actually kill the coyote, right? I just drove the four-wheeler through the fence while he opened and closed the gate and I held the gun while he moved the body and reset his traps.

Also I might have been the one who suggested hanging the dead coyote over the sheep fence so our neighbors can see his triumph.

But he was the one who’s weird enough to actually do it.

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-taking a hit in the parking lot-

I was never the girl that boys flirted with; I’m not the kind of woman that men hit on. Maybe they don’t find me appealing; maybe they can sense that I’m not interested. Who knows. (And I’m not complaining. I like it this way.) It doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it takes me by surprise and when it’s a conversation worth retelling, it makes me laugh. There’s just something so awkward and impersonal about it. And desperate.

I enjoy wandering into a story waiting to be told. And the Wal-Mart parking lot is full of stories waiting to be told. Take yesterday for example.

I’m pushing my groceries out to my van, thinking about the fact that I’ve just stolen a bag of greenleaf lettuce by mistake and deciding it would be simpler to pay for an extra one next week instead of going back in to take care of it now when I’m stopped by the sight of an older man waving energetically at me from the passenger seat of an SUV.

Nothing about his vehicle, face or voice is familiar, so I lift up my sunglasses and squint at him for any hint of who this person might be or how I know him. Here’s our conversation with some of my thoughts as a bonus:

Me: Do I know you?

Him: How are you doing?

Me: Great! How are you?

Him: I bet you’re enjoying this weather.

Me: I am. It’s perfect!

Him: Which high school did you go to?

Me: Okay, I don’t know him. He’s mistaken me for someone else. Uh… I went to school down in North Carolina.

Him: Oh. I bet you liked it down there, didn’t you?

Me: Why? Don’t I look happy here? Yeah… I did…

Him: I was gonna try to get all the women and girls from North Carolina to come up and take part in a rasslin’ match… if you’re interested…

Me: He hasn’t mistaken me for anyone! He’s hoping I’m a trashy woman! (after laughing loud and hard:) Well, good luck with that.

Him: If you’re interested…

Me: No, I’m really not interested in that.

Him: (in a tone of voice that could almost be described as pleading:) If you wanna…

Me: exit stage right and laugh a lot, glad there’s a vehicle parked between us so he can’t watch me unloading my groceries.

Maybe I should have been offended, but the mental picture of my mother, aunts and all my other female friends and relatives in North Carolina swarming up to Kentucky to take part in a “rasslin’ match” was really just too much. That poor old guy. He had no idea who he was talking to.

Probably my favorite parking lot conversation in a long time.

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-marigold-

Spending Easter weekend with some of my extended family was beyond wonderful. But I have to say- my favorite part of the weekend was the little Marigold that I found in South Carolina on Easter Sunday. Here she is:

marigold day 1

Look at the clock. She’s 6 hours old! I’ve never had the chance to hold any of my nieces or nephews on the day they were born. It was magical. And look at her beautiful mama back there. She makes cute kids! (And doesn’t mind admitting it.) 🙂 And she looks pretty cute herself immediately afterwards. Also magical.

My brother had invited us to visit if she arrived while we were in NC. But… since life never does seem to work out that way, I assumed she would come later in the week when we were back in Kentucky trapped in our normal school routine. I didn’t really get my hopes up.

Until the phone rang. And I heard Roger say, “I’ll let you talk to your sister and tell her everything.” And then I heard that there’s a tiny new girl who shares my middle name.  What a good day. Totally worth a 2 hour drive to meet this beautiful little person.

Marigold Evangeline. Sweet perfection.

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-compassion-

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