I saw a cutie pie and her momma in the Denver airport a few weeks ago. Something about this princess reminded me a bit of my daughters twenty years ago when they would get excited about the simplest, yet sweetest, of things. I asked how old this cutie patootie was and the young mother shared the little one’s age and added, “I am expecting another this September.” I congratulated her and then, as her toddler swung around her legs, she added, “Yeah, but with our luck, it will be another girl.”
I was a little stunned. And I was more than a little sad. How often do we say things within hearing of our children not realizing how damaging the sentiment can be? Now, this post is not meant to be a judgement on one gender of child over another. Nor is it meant to judge parents who have a gender wish. Having daughters, though, I might be overly sensitive to phrases such as, “Boys are easier to raise than girls,” or “I bet your husband wishes he had a son.” He doesn’t, by the way. He has told people how insulting this is when said. It seems to say that our daughters are lacking or not good enough or that he couldn’t possibly love them as much as a son.
So, in answer to the Denver airport momma’s “another girl” comment, I simply remarked, “We are lucky to have three daughters and love every minute.” It is not my place to lecture a stranger on a belief system so ingrained into our society that I don’t even think she realized how her off-hand statement might impact her daughter’s sense of self-worth later. Boys will be boys, but our daughters are expected to be polite and ladylike. Boys will be boys, but our daughters are judged on their language, their dress, their volume. Boys will be boys, but our daughters are shown by inadvertent remarks, media, fashion, and the like that they are somehow not enough. Not thin enough, not busty enough, not pretty, graceful, gracious, polite, popular, or sexy enough. Boys will be boys, but our daughters are turned into objects who are appreciated more for comportment, beauty, societal standards, and conformity than they are for being talented, smart, or creative.
So, let me change the emphasis on the comment “With our luck, it will be another girl.”
- With our luck, it will be another girl full of sunshine and smiles to warm our hearts.
- With our luck, it will be another girl to give us butterfly kisses and fists of dandelion flowers.
- With our luck, it will be another girl who rides motorcycles one day and looks elegant for prom the next.
- With our luck, it will be another girl. Someone to play soccer or volleyball or football with in the yard.
- With our luck, it will be another girl. Someone like Madame Curie (science) or Mary Somerville (math) or Lise Meitner (nuclear fission) who will contribute to the improvement of the human race.
- With our luck, it will be another girl. Sisters to share secrets, to laugh with, and to comfort each other when we finally leave this earth.
- With our luck, it will be another confident, strong, smart, talented girl who makes the world a better place.
- With our luck, it will be another girl and she will be enough.