Raising Girls

Tonight I was the co-hostess for my dear friend's baby shower. She and her
husband were surprised with this pregnancy and they are pleased to have a little girl on the way. She is 38 and this is baby #5 so I insisted on a party. I may have gone over budget and I am not ashamed. I haven't bought anything pink and cutesy in years. And deep in my heart I look forward to my turn to birth a daughter. Yep. I said it.

I haven't talked a lot about my mom because she is funny about social media exposure, but I feel it is necessary. She can get over it after she reads this post. It hasn't been easy being the daughter to this woman. I am the oldest and she was young when I was born. She even admits that she kind of felt like a failure when I was still a baby so she had my brother quick to prove that she didn't completely suck at motherhood. She and I didn't see eye-to-eye for a lot of years and it was rough. However, this mamma bear was adamant that her kids were educated and they knew the facts of life. We may have been scared shitless to mess up but we knew choices brought consequences and that we had to work hard to be successful. Now there are lots of regrets in fights and statements that were made but forgiveness is real and there have been some pretty major trials and experiences for both of us that have helped us grow. 

It is not easy for a woman who had 5 hooligan brothers to raise 3 daughters. It is also not easy to raise girls when the oldest is a redhead, the middle is a feisty free spirit and the youngest is an angel from God. We are the Motley Crüe of whatever. But. We are passionate. We are deeply commited to our family, our sweethearts and our country because our mom is to hers. With that I give further insight.

Family: My mom is very very devoted to her family both living and deceased. She's a family history nut and as a result we know all sorts of information about the living and the dead. Additionally, she absolutely loves her parents, her brothers, her sisters-in-law and her grandbabies. I have never set foot at Disneyland because any available family vacation time was spent with her family. They are loud, redneck, very Republican but oh so incredible. And we are content with a package of hot dogs, some buns and a fire, as long as we are together. 

Love: My mom made the decision to be a homemaker from day 1 of her life as a mother. She raised us with a passion for musicals, opera and family history, among other things. We also knew that she had fallen short of a bachelors degree to raise kids and it always bothered her that her education wasn't complete. So she insisted that all her children, especially her girls. would be educated. It just was not an option to give up in the middle. It was a proud day for me to see her graduate with her bachelors degree a week after I did. She has always been a devoted wife to my quirky adorable dad. The older I get and the more relationships I have the funnier it is to see how their relationship ticks. They are a crack up, but a good match. 

Country: Without doubt I can credit my love for this country and its flag because of my mom. We knew when ALL the flag-flying holidays were and why they existed. We also knew that both our parents were faithful voters and I was most excited about turning 18 so I could have my turn at the polls. The right to our opinion was and still is a sacred one and she was proud of us as we exercised  that right.

We are living in an extremely different time than when I was a kid. Our girls are exposed to muck and smut all day long from so many different avenues. If you think that you can protect your daughters from it all YOU ARE WRONG. At one click of a button she can see every which way to do whatever and whenever. We need to teach our girls to know their boundaries and stand their ground in school, work, relationships and the polls. If we are teaching the fundamental wisdom that choices bring consequences and being REAL about what those actually mean it will be ok. And even if they mess up they will rebound and come back. I am deeply upset when I see things that fly across the news that take away the right to choose for women. I am a Mormon and I just said that in print. Get over it. And I'm not talking about abortion or birth control so don't jump to conclusions. And ya, that may cause you to roll your eyes, but ultimately we need to have the right to dictate our own lives and the choices we make are our business. If we make it our life's mantra to live and let live, I know that we will be greatly enriched by everyone who is going after the same goal: to make it another day and not go bat shit crazy. It's pretty simple. 

The moral of the story: much to her surprise my mom raised awesome daughters who are a lot more like her than they will EVER admit out loud. 

Until next time, my lovelies!


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