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This One's For the Girls

I grew up in a house bursting at the seams with boys. Seven of them. And one tomboy sister. I am all girl. I like pink and perfume and jewelry and makeup and nailpolish. My brothers liked dirt and starting fires and burping . They did not like perfume. Sunday mornings, I would deck myself out in all my finery and brace for the "Uuugh! You stink!" which spilled forth collectively from the mouths of the tribe mashed into the minivan. I was a girl with guts. I smelled good Sunday after Sunday.

When our first little guy was born, I figured I was doomed for a lifetime of testosterone. There would be no one who would share my love of pink. But then, wonder of little girls made their entrance into our lives. One is a tomboy but I can forgive her for this because she likes earrings and necklaces and nail polish. The next two are the sisters I have been waiting for all my life. They like to play house and dolls and dress up. One even screams when she sees a frog or a bug! A sound that warms this mama's heart.

We pulled out the nail clippers and the nail polish yesterday. I clipped twenty little toenails while they lined up the polish bottles and made their selections. Palest Mauve on one set of toes and Thrill Red on the other. They picked out stickers for their big toes. Butterflies for one. Dragonflies for the other. All of the toes wiggled while they dried. Both girls smiled and studied their mama's handiwork and pronounced it good. They got up and danced off to wiggle their toes for their papa. He patted their heads and told them they were beautiful. They beamed. It is good to feel loved by your papa.

Many of my brothers are getting another chance at understanding the heart of a girl as they raise girls of their own. They are learning that dolls are fun and pink is a beautiful color. I know they will never tell their daughters, "Uugh! You stink!" I am raising a second boy. One who came after the three girls. He will be teaching me the joys of dirt and starting fires and burping any day now.

For the record, I will concede that there is such a thing as too much perfume. Especially when you are mashed into a minivan.


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