We were at a family Christmas party, and my uncles were chatting it up, discussing the births of their sons.
“It must be hard-wired into your brain,” one of them said, “Because when he came out and the doctor said it was a boy … it was just something like, Thank God!”
Of course I don’t remember the exact quote, but I do remember the sentiment and the look I got when they discovered me, as if they were both surprised and full of pity — pity that I might one day have a girl as a first-born and not know this apparent treasured feeling of relief. It was, indeed, a weird moment, but one that suddenly came out of nowhere when a doctor of my own, so many years later, said, “It’s a girl!” and presented me with this howling blue ghost.
There were a million emotions coursing through my veins, but pity or disappointment weren’t included. I feel so incredibly lucky to have had a daughter that there are days I want to yell with joy. I don’t want to turn this into a girls-are-better-than-boys type thing — everyone has their own opinion on the matter — but for me, having a girl, it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened.
Maybe some of this has to do with being raised in a house with three boys. All this talk of hair and clothes and nails and “my heart is so filled with love for you” — it’s a foreign thing, something I don’t remember from my youth. My brothers would have punched me in the teeth.
But now … every day is a reason to be filled with rainbows and imagination. But it’s more than that. There are many facets to us all, and while my daughter certainly has her bubbly side, there is a fierceness deep inside as well. I’ve never known a kid to get her hand stepped on by a horse and then get up and ride it. She works so hard and so long on projects that I often think, “Man, I wish I could do that.” She’s compassionate and extremely competitive. She’s dainty and unabashedly dirty. She contains multitudes, and I love every one of them.
Maybe having her back all to myself over the summer break has turned me into a sentimental blob, as I recall all the fun we used to have each and every day before school intervened and took her away from me for large parts of the day, but I can’t help thinking about all the ways having a girl has changed my life for the better. Here are just 11 reasons why she rocks.
Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!
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