Confession: I’ve got a lady-in-training around my house, and I’m terrified.
Boys are difficult in their own way—bullheaded and rash—but they’re soft-hearted beneath, easy to get to. This girl thing of angel one day, minx the next is harder to get a hold of. And without big sisters, her only day-to-day pattern is her mother.
I love, love having a daughter. Her gray eyes melt me. Her baby words enthrall me. Her trust, her vulnerability, her mimicry I find enchanting.
She knows things no one ever taught her—
Like mothering (the way she fed her babies from her own snack when she was not more than 12 months old, the way she combs their hair and says “Sorry, baby!” because she knows it hurts, the way she holds them, snuggles them in blankets, pats their backs)
Like conversation (“What, Mom?” and when I tell her—“Oh wow. Cwazy.”)
Like relationships (touching everyone and smiling adorably, then spitting on them when she’s upset)
Like taking care of everyone (shutting cupboard doors after her brothers, handing out vitamins, comforting when someone is hurt, wanting to broom and launder and scrub)
Like femininity (loving purses and shoes almost before she could walk, flirting with her shoulders and eyes, fascination with the beautiful)
—How did she learn?
She copies motions I don’t even know I do. She prays to Jesus any moment of the day. She has a stronger will than her mother. She is completely innocent about the dangers of the world.
I’ve never done this before, and I don’t know what I’m doing. Do tell—what is crucial to the upbringing of a daughter?