That Girl

Our first child was a boy. My husband felt that way all along, and I wasn't really sure. But when he was born, and we knew, it seemed right. "Of course we had a boy first. It's what I always wanted."

When I was pregnant the second time, I knew immediately that it was a girl. Maybe it's because I thought I could will that baby into being a girl or that I really believe in positive thinking and actualizing. Either way, when she was born and we knew, it was the same. "Of course she is a girl. It's what I always wanted."

But she was difficult, our girl. She came out screaming at us and it seemed like she didn't stop until she was nine months old. The only time she took a break was to nurse, or to cat nap in the Moby wrap on my shoulder.

Looking back I wonder if she knew she was a second child and decided she was going to get the same amount of cuddles and adoration that her brother – as an only child – had received before her. Smart girl. I can say confidently that I held her as much as, if not more than, I did her brother.

These days, they have switched it up on us. She is the easy one and he is the tough one. I anticipate this will be the first of several swaps as they grow up but I appreciate that so far they have the decency to balance each other out. I doubt they will be so kind to us in their teenage years.

For now, I am enjoying seeing my baby girl become a little lady. Every time she picks up a Barbie doll or wants to wear a Cinderella dress to the grocery store or demands three wardrobe changes before lunchtime, I think to myself "she is mine. She was meant to be mine."

I have never given much thought to nature vs. nurture, and both my kids had a pretty even balance of "girl", "boy", and "gender neutral" toys until they starting choosing for themselves. Now T's room is wall-to-wall action figures scattered all over the floor and under his covers while A's floor is littered with discarded clothing and accessories – hers and her dolls'.

I think these tiny humans are who they are. It is my job to help them and guide them, but I am loving who they appear to already be on their own. One of the great joys of being a mom thus far has been sitting back and watching them become the people they were meant to be.

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