I’m not a girly girl. Meaning, I grew up with boys. All brothers, mostly boys in my neighborhood, and if I wanted anyone to play with when I was a kid, I had to be with boys. I learned how to climb trees, catch crawdads, ride bikes and collect bugs with the best of them. As I got older, I was still one of The Boys and I learned how to hunt, drive tractors and throw bales of hay. Anything they could do, I could do, it was just how I grew up.
From Tomboy to Mother
As I became a teenager, I never had much interest in things like make up or fixing my hair. I only wore dresses to church or when my mom made me. I was very comfortable being a little more rough and tumble. Yeah, I dated a little, but mostly I just wanted to hang out with my friends. I can remember more than once asking one of my friends (boys, remember) if they wanted to sneak out at night. They were always eager and I’d show up on my bike and we’d go for Night Rides. Then I went home. No kissing, no messing around, I was just not interested.
Around the age of 17, I finally started wearing a bra (again because my mom made me) and trying out more “girly” things. By the age of 19, I had the whole Boy Meets Girl style down. Sure I’d wear a dress or a skirt, but I’d pair it with my chuck taylors. And heaven forbid I wear anything pink, but a little girly stuff tossed in with the tomboy was ok. A cute lacy top and some ripped up jeans for balance kind of thing.
I grew up and fell in love and got married. My husband loved my style and I taught him how to drive a stick shift and how to skip rocks like a pro. We talked about having kids and me teaching our boys all of the great stuff I knew how to do. Then, we got pregnant.
A girl. I was going to have a girl. I was terrified. What was I going to do with a girl?!
Buttons and Bows
My daughter was born, and let me tell you something; as much of a girly girl that I was not, she was. She was all pink and ribbons and bows and matching dresses to shoes when she was only two years old. I bought her trucks and tools so she’d have a rounded childhood and she skipped them and went straight for unicorns and Barbie dolls. I swear to god, she bleeds glitter.
Great. Now what? As she grew into her teen years, I worked hard to connect with her. We learned how to put on liquid eyeliner together and she taught me the importance of making sure your shoes match your outfit, even if they’re Chucks. We went prom dress shopping (shoot me, but I did it) and shoe shopping. She taught me to embrace my softer side while still holding on to the rough and tumble upbringing I had.
Now that she’s away at college, I miss her helping me pick out my outfits. We had a lot of fun growing up together, and she may even have turned out to be better at catching frogs than I am!