There are a lot of things I could have been blogging about in the last few months, but instead of sharing these thoughts with the whole world, I've gone old school with a pen and a couple of journals. Writing the old-fashioned way is so satisfying. My hand aches after several pages of manic writing. My handwriting starts off pretty and scrolly, but by the end of a log, it looks like a psychotic ransom letter. I try to keep the baby journal as pretty as possible, but after several pages of writing, it just doesn't work out that way.
Yes, I'm writing a journal to my unborn baby. Last week, Matt and I saw our baby on an ultrasound screen and discovered that she is a little girl. A girl! This whole pregnancy feels more real now that I know a little more about this kid. That evening, I went to the bookstore and bought a journal to write about my pregnancy, my thoughts, worries, and excitement over raising my girl. If she chooses to have a baby one day, maybe she will be interested in knowing what pregnancy was like for me. Even if she does not have children, she may want to know what her old mom was like when she was kind of young and excited about having a baby. Right now, it is funny to read my voice when writing to my daughter. I am writing to her the way I would email a friend. Familiar, maybe a little silly. I know this voice will shift once I meet her. Once she is born, I want to let her know what motherhood is like. I want her to read one day about the extraordinary love that her father and I fell into as we were getting to know our girl. My writing will probably become more motherly and knowing my nature, probably a bit sappy. I want to keep volumes of journals as my girl grows up so that she can read about her childhood from her mom's perspective and discover things that she may not remember when she is an adult. I want to capture those goofy things that she will say and those sweet moments before adolescence, when she still loves us. I want to do these things privately, for her, as opposed to keeping a "mommy blog."
Having a baby is exciting and scary. Like any parents, we are mostly concerned with her health and happiness, but as the mother of a girl, the old, "better polish the gun" joke is getting on my nerves. I'm not worried about my girl having boyfriends in 13 years. I want her to have healthy relationships and anyway, I need (and want) to tackle the sweet baby days first. For now, I'm worried about my ability to raise a girl who will be confident, adventurous, spirited, and smart. I have already asked family to not bombard this girl with pink or God forbid, buy her anything that says "spoiled" or "princess." Still, the ubiquitous princess culture associated with little girls seems mostly unavoidable. I bought the book, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and while it did not really provide me with a lot of information that I didn't already possess from all of those Women's Studies classes I took in college, it did help me feel better about balancing the fun of femininity with all of the other aspects that I hope for her identity. I don't need to shun all things pink, as long as I'm teaching her that there is more to being a girl than being pretty. I want my child, regardless of gender, to be compassionate and kind, responsible, smart, and happy.