Daughters should come with the warning, “Caution: will melt your heart, drive you crazy and inevitably get sparkles on everything!”
As I held each of my sweet daughters in my arms for the first time, I was blown away by the instant, all encompassing love that reduced my heart to a gooey mess. The love you have for your children surpasses all else and you know in that instant you would sacrifice everything to keep them safe.
Raising daughters is like riding a roller coaster of emotion that is super coated in sparkles. Raising daughters is bedtime snuggles and combing knots out of long silken hair. It is tea parties and dress up. It is giggles and tears. It is your house full of BFF’s, trips to the mall, and listening to sisters bicker over the smallest of trivialities. It is skinned hearts and knees.
What they don’t warn your about, as you take your sweet daughter home from the hospital, is raising daughters is also sparkly toys, shoes, clothes, lip gloss and eye shadow. When I became the mother of daughters, I never imagined that sparkles would become such a pervasive constant in our home. My poor husband has left the house with an errant sparkle on his cheek or behind his ear more often then not. Bottom line those sparkles are just everywhere! They are in the carpet and on the furniture and pretty much every facecloth we own! I often wonder how long it will be, after the girls leave home, before we will be sparkle free.
Simultaneously, raising daughters is also taking the time to bestow both the smallest and largest of lessons that will help define who they will become. Lessons in how to ride a bike or stand up to a boy. Raising daughters is lessons in hair care, applying lipgloss and wearing a bra. It is lessons in how to keep and sometimes let go of a friend. Raising a daughter is lessons in making sense of, and surviving the emotional instability of puberty. It is also the lesson that the end of a first crush is not the end of the world. Most importantly, raising a daughter is teaching them how to be strong and independent young women so that one day they will do the unimaginable and move away from you.
When I held my sweet babies in my arms that day of independence seemed so far away ,and now I shudder at how close it actually is.
So I may have sparkles in my hair, on my clothes or maybe even the tip of my nose, but it just means I have hugged my daughters close today. It means I have taken a moment to hold them just a little longer before they take yet another step toward their inevitable independence.