Thankfully, the adjustment was natural, fun even. I felt a bond as the only girls in our family. We're tight. I've got a shopping partner. I've got a snuggling partner who will sit quietly beside me while I read.
But I think the greatest part for me is that this sweet, little girl is so innocently unaware of feminine expectations. Propriety. She doesn't cross her legs. She chews with her mouth open sometimes. She passes gas and excuses herself without embarrassment. She wipes her mouth with her sleeve. She is sweetly appropriate, like an innocent child should be. And it's so refreshing. She's learning to be a lady, lady-like, but she's still learning. And that's what I love.
Annie went to her first birthday party today. A princess party. They went to a beauty school and had their nails painted. She was so excited, she couldn't even eat breakfast. It was tender to watch her prep herself to be a big girl. I think she was the youngest one at the party, not used to being without me. But she did it! And had a royal time!
I realized something. I want Annie to feel like a princess. I want her to grow up with a positive self-image. I want her to love herself. Then take that love and turn it into confidence that will help her help others. Not to be afraid, or insecure, but to step up to challenges. I want her to feel beautiful, inside and out.
I have a distant cousin, my grandpa's sister's son's grand-daughter, Paige, who thought her grandma was a queen. A real queen. She carried herself that way. Graceful, beautiful, kind, smart. And this grandma instilled in her grand-daughters that they were princesses. They would have sleepovers with grandma and learn the art of grace. Embracing womanhood and motherhood. They grew up with high expectations. They grew up respecting themselves. I thought that was such a healthy gift to offer her grand-daughters. I want to offer that to Annie.
So, whether or not I call her "Princess"--I'm still working through that one--I'm going to treat her like one because that's what all little girls deserve. I firmly believe that we are God's children. And as such, we have something special, divine, royal in each of us. Why not make it a little easier for our children to see it in themselves?