Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thank heaven for little girls 
For little girls get bigger every day! 

 Thank heaven for little girls 
They grow up in the most delightful way! 

Those little eyes so helpless and appealing 
One day will flash and send you 
crashin thru the ceilin 

Thank heaven for little girls 
Thank heaven for them all, 
No matter where no matter who 
For without them, what would little boys do? 

 Thank heaven . . . thank heaven . . . Thank heaven for little girls!

Ah yes, as that somewhat-creepy-yet-sugary-sweet song says, thank heaven for sweet little girls.  Being a mom of two daughters is, indeed, a delight.  I'm sure raising sons has it's incredibly endearing moments as well, and maybe someday I will get to wring my heart out for a little boy...but, for now, I'm the mother of girls.  

Never has it seemed so apparent to me that I am raising such girlyish-girly-girls than at this commercial-driven time of the year, Christmas!  Everything is gotta-have-it, toys toys toys and more toys, purple and pink and sparkly too!  There are entire aisles just beaming with hot-pinkness and you can't walk by them (you know which ones I'm talking about) without Barbie glaring you in the face screaming "BUY ME" through her perky little smile.  

My girls LOVE dolls.  They love dress up.  They love tutus.  They love princesses and Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony and anything that smiles and has bouncy hair and wears a dress and/or crown.  They are girly girls.  Whew!  What have I gotten myself into here????

I keep trying to remind myself that I'm raising future little mothers here.  Future little wives.  Future little bosses or managers or somehow-other-influencers who will in someway, hopefully, impact their peer groups and challenge those around them.  I do what I can to live a rather well-rounded, intentional, grateful and transparent life, one that's not limited to stereotypes, capabilities or finances.  I strive for excellence because that's what Jesus did.  I aim for the impossible, because that's who Jesus was.  (I fail constantly, but hey - that's part of the journey too.)

So, how do I help shape and mold my precious little girls into grateful little princesses rather than gots-the-gimmes Bratz through this season of giving and sharing?  How can I compete with these glitzy toy commercials when all I seem to offer them as an alternative is a boring advent calendar or another storybook depicting the Nativity?

This season is a toughie.  As my girls grow older, it seems the more and more Jesus and Santa are arm wrestling through the holiday, trying to win the war on commercialism versus meaning.  I want to celebrate it all, really, I want my girls to be just as excited for the story of Jesus as they are looking through the ToysRUs catalog...but, it's a challenge.  

Then, as I looked back in the backseat of my car today, on our way out to do a little Christmas shopping, it hit me.  I looked back, and they were holding hands.  Carseat to carseat, reaching out and holding hands just sweet as could be.  "Look mom!" said Matilda, "We holdin hands!  I got her." 

Suddenly, I think for maybe the first time, I realized that they really had each other.  Sisters.  They were girly-girls together and going to help shape who each other were becoming.  I think I have kept feeling so much responsibility as their mother, as the sole female who will influence their young journey, that I never stopped to think about how much influence they will really have on each other.  Kindness, charity, forgiveness, love.  These are all things they can give and receive as sisters, as girls, as little nurturers to one another that will empower them as individuals.  Barbie's got nothin on that!

At 3-years-old and 16-months, my girls are itty-bitty in the grand scheme of life.  But, now is the time that they are forming their little opinions about who they are, what girls do, what's important and so on. They test the boundaries of patience and trust.  They make sure they can call on me and rely on each other.  They care for and about each other, and I'm just so grateful they are sisters.  Of all the dolls, of all the toys, the beauty of their little friendship is far superior and irreplaceable.  

And, as we continue to read them and teach them the story of Jesus and what this season is truly all about, I can pray that God uses their influence on each other to help them along their path towards Him.  I have no doubt that each one of them was necessary to each other's life in order to become the person they are and will be.  That is SO COOL to get to witness as a mother!  (Plus, it takes a little of the pressure off me!)

Today in the car as I was strapping Matilda into her carseat, she said "Mom, can we sing that song? You know," and she hummed a few unintelligible bars.  "What song?" I said.  "You know, that Sisters, sisters song.  Never were there Sisters, sisters..."  OH!  It hit me - she was talking about "Sisters" from White Christmas - my favorite holiday movie!  

My heart beamed with joy, and of course I broke into song right then.  It made me so happy that she not only liked that song (I mean, we're talking future talent show competitors here, right?  The Pardy Sisters Duet?) but also that she smiled when singing it.

Maybe someday I will have a son, and if I do I will certainly be thrilled and surely confused about how to raise him.  (Ha!) But, right now, there is just something about having these little girls in my life that make me so acutely aware of how God places specific, innate traits in girls to make us who we are.  It may come with lots of chatter, sparkly shoes, and an affinity for all things pink...but, it is also comes with tendencies towards nurturing and compassion.  (Please don't write me letters about how your son is nurturing and compassionate, I'm not going there with this!)  I'm just saying I'm thrilled and grateful to embrace the tutus and all that comes with it.  

My girls can be wild, crazy, barbaric princesses sometimes, don't get me wrong!  But, no matter what, they'll be wild, crazy, barbaric princesses together.  And I pray it always stays that way. 

"Never were there such devoted sisters."  Thank heaven.

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