A Few Things Raising a Daughter Taught Me

Our first born is a girl. She is awesome! From the moment she was born she has delighted, confounded and amazed us. We have been head over heels in love with her from the moment we discovered she was coming. Have I mentioned I LOVE girls?? I do, I really do!  Raising our sweet daughter has been a privilege and an honor. She has made it a fantastic ride.

Having grown up with a sister, I felt a little more prepared for this journey than I did for raising boys. I am so blessed to have been able to experience both. What joy this has been!!!  This girl of ours has also enriched us, challenged us and made us better. She is a remarkable young woman and we thank God for her daily. He has gifted us with this precious one and he gets all the credit for who she is. Seriously!
Here are a few things raising a girl has taught me.
1. Girls can wear out their jeans just as fast as boys. Truth! People were always telling me not to expect the boys to outgrow their jeans before they wore them out. I remember being extremely puzzled by this unsolicited warning. I didn’t know that was unusual because our daughter had always worn out her jeans before outgrowing them too!
2. Girls love to conquer. On the way to the park one day she fell running down a hill. At 18 months of age that little one went up and down that hill until she could run it as fast as she could without falling! I just love the spirit shown by that!!! She set a goal for running her mile in a certain time frame last year and made it. She loves to conquer!
3. Girls are always ready for a tea party. Need I say more? Every little girl needs a proper tea set and regular tea dates!! If Dad can join in, all the better!
4. Cars are as much fun as dolls.  Gender shouldn’t limit the kind of toys a child has the opportunity to play with. Our sweet pea enjoyed all toys and never missed a chance to play. Having brothers, she was always ready to join in any game.
5. Little girls love puddles and mud. If there was rain, we were geared up and ready to go. Splashing in puddles and playing with mud made rainy days a party!! 
6. Girls enjoy adventure and action. If we want to try something new, our girl is the first one excited and ready go. She has an eagerness to try new things and be on the move. With my daughter around, I am never without company for an excursion!
7. Girls are not afraid of sweat. Our daughter loves physical exertion. She loves to push herself and take on a physical challenge. The highest compliment is for a coach or physical educator to comment on her work ethic. 
8. Dressing up is fun, but nothing beats a girls favorite pair of jeans and cozy hoodie. 
9. Girls enjoy their independence. She will get the lid off that jar, she will lift a heavy load, she can and will do it herself! It was the funniest thing when she got her wisdom teeth pulled. Under the influence of the medication used for the procedure, she still became indignant when we tried to help her with her coat.  It was the 18 year old version of “I do it!” So funny!
10. Girls have a deeply loyal and protective spirit. I have seen this in my daughter, in her friends and in her team mates. In elementary school a new girl entered the scene. Insecure and unsure, she tried to turn the girls against each other to make a place for herself. She made her rounds, picking on girls. This group was loyal and stood together. When she tried it with our daughter, all the girls surrounded our daughter with their desks. The message was “Don’t mess with this girl, she is our friend!” They kept giving the new girl chances, every time she tried this kind of behavior, they shut it down. This loyalty and protectiveness is strong and it is beautiful! It was a true sisterhood.
11. Girls have an endless ability to love and forgive. Her acts of compassion, forgiveness and love have astounded and blessed me.
12. Girls love to laugh. There is no sound as sweet and pure as a group of girls laughing and giggling. I used to just sit and enjoy it when she had play dates.  The giggles of girls are so good for the soul!
13. They are also born with the heart of a hero. They are usually content to let someone handle a situation on their own, until a line has been crossed. If that line is crossed, look out! Justice is important and if they find someone in a situation that is unfair, they will get involved no matter what the consequence. I was prepared for her to get kicked out of class for the first time ever this year as she struggled with the tyranny of a teacher.  She spoke up, challenged, defended. She struggled to show respect to someone who didn’t respect others.  She could not sit quietly by and let it happen.  I love this about her. 
This list is not exhaustive. There is so much more. It is overwhelming to prepare her to live in a world that in many ways wants to force it’s values and ideas on her. I wonder if we have equipped her to stand strong in the midst of it.  It is overwhelming to be charged with the task of preparing her to take on the future she wants, to chase down the job she wants, and make choices that are the best for her and what God is calling her to. She is resilient and tough. I look forward to seeing her future unfold. 
Raising our girl has been an amazing adventure. I cherish her and the lessons she has taught me.

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