Some things you sorta have to stumble into. Things that other girls learn from exposure or practice with their mother's, aunts, sisters and cousins.
During this time in my life, when my husband and I are actively TTC, and the world around me is insisting that our children will be curly headed, hell on wheels, precocious, trouble making little tomboys, I am struck by the things that I can teach them about being a girl. And the things I can not.
For instance, the love of all things pink. Yeah, thats not gonna happen. My mother and all those involved with raising me will tell you that I have avoided the color pink like a vampire runs from sunshine, wooden stakes and garlic. I don't really like pastels in general, but pink, in any shade from bright fuchsia to powder puff pale makes me nauseated. I like camo greens, bright blue, oranges (as long as they don't get pinkish) silver, black and green and I have a love for purple that can only be rivaled by Von Glorious and Prince (you'd be wise to ignore the fact that my finger nails are currently and eye popping shade of bubblegum called Boom Boom). My mom didn't teach me to do my nails, in fact I avoided nail polish like the plague until I was 18 (it happens when you get purple glitter nail polish IN YOUR EYE at age 5...never mind that we were driving in the car and i was trying to see all the sparklies in the bottle)
My mother didn't teach me squat about curling my hair and applying nail polish and make up. For the longest time I wasn't interested. The only thing she did in the bathroom that was fun to me was her nightly Noxzema mask...and that's because i thought she was putting on her monster face to chase me with. That Noxzema got my ass beat when my grandmother discovered what was bleaching my skin. OH and one time I watched my mother arching her eye brows with a razor blade. I wont tell you what happened because I still believe the large water bug attacked me, (thats my story and i am sticking to it), but i will say it involved missing bangs and elmers school glue.
I learned all I know about make up from my daddy ( WFM), I hit a point where I didn't want to be the weird little girl in school, so I would secretly slip those little make up kits in the cart under my hot wheels and model cars. And on saturday mornings after we'd built my latest model, my dad would patiently sit, with a giant bottle of acetone, a bottle of baby oil and huge bag of cotton balls and watch tv while I piled all my mom's sponge hair rollers onto his head and then painted his face and most of his fingers and toes. I gave up after about a month, I am sure my dad is glad. And though, he didn't speak to me for a month after I cut all my hair off, it was that or continue paying someone else to do my hair in the mornings before school. ( mom's shift started before we had to be up).
My mom didn't teach me about boys, the one time i had a crush and was brave enough to tell her she said it was just puppy love and I'd get over it. Then she came back to the room to advice me "it wouldn't be smart to say anything about this boy to your dad or uncle's. Let's just keep this between ma and you." I was 14 when I figured out that the rapidly growing arsenal in our house was to prevent "boys", from acting on the the realization that I was no longer the dusty lil tomboy, that lived on the farm down from them.
My mom did teach me to walk in high heels. That she started showing me from a very early age...i abandoned it from about 12 until 16 at which point she had to re teach me...much to my dad's dismay, but apparently the enjoyment of the male population in general.
My mom didn't teach me to drive a car...neither did my dad...I'd been driving since the age of five, but was forced to quit when we moved into town. At age 15 when everyone was learning my mom was pulling her hair out trying to teach me. Turns out the problem was that i couldn't drive and automatic. I could clutch and shift better than most nascar drivers. But knowing what to do with my left foot and both hands on the wheel was just too confusing to me.
My mom didn't teach me about being a little girl... my mom taught me how to be a woman.
She taught me how to be strong in the face of adversity, she taught me how to work and take care of others, she taught me how to hide my tears and how to throw a killer left hook. She taught me that my high heels were not just high fashion, but self defense mechanisms. You know just about the only thing girlly mom did was crochet, and after fifteen minutes and seven tangled balls of yarn, my mom taught me that its ok to not know how to do something girlly like knitting or crocheting. I also learned how to dodge fast pitch potatoes ( don't ask, lets just say i know know that those softball/baseball trophies, belonged to my mother NOT my uncles).
So I wonder, what things I will and will not be able to teach a little girl. Will I be able to relate if she wants ballerina shoes instead of a football helmet? Will i understand her obsession with baby dolls instead of marbles and army men? Will she be ok in ratty tshirts and tattered jeans as opposed to frilly dresses and snowflake tights( holy crap i just swooned thinking about those itchy ass tights)?
Its over whelming to worry about the things I can't teach her, because my mom never taught me. But I do know I can teach her all the things I did learn from my mom. How to read and get lost in the fantasy of a good book. How to cut down the time on a complicated recipe so you don't miss a minute of your favorite show. How to hold the ones you love close, even if awkwardly, and let the love of your heart fill your arms and flow into them. How to pick a lock and hot wire a car (hypothetically speaking).
And all the rest she'll pick up along the way. I did. (glancing down at my nails) even learned how to paint my nails and not get the color everywhere. Never did learn to like pink though.