Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sugar and Spice?

My daughter, Kaelana, is growing taller, brighter and more beautiful every day. Family, friends and even random strangers comment about how well-behaved she is, how socially adaptable, how friendly, how mature for her age, how NOT annoying (you know how some kids are; they push the cute envelope too far for far too long but hey, I'm not here to judge), how emotionally sensitive and how long and thick her eye lashes are. I smile proudly but deep inside, I still worry if we're raising her right, and if our parenting skills are good enough. The pretty eyes are genetic so that's something I just thank Mother Nature for.

Because of how polite, amiable and sunny Kaelana is, I also get comments from people how lucky I am to be raising a daughter and not a son. They say boys are a handful - that girls are generally easier to handle and  that Cyrus and I do not have to worry too much because Kaelana is pretty much the poster child for well-adjusted kids.

I beg to differ. Raising a daughter is not a walk in the park. And you know what, I worry most about her teenage years. The words rebellion, angst, heartbreak, body image and peer pressure come to mind. I went through the same things with my own mother. They say things have a way of coming back to haunt you, but for my daughter, I hope, with prayers and guidance, she won't have to go through very painful, life-altering (in a negative way) circumstances.

I pray fervently that Kaelana will not be a victim to nor a perpetrator of what I call "girl crimes": exclusion, vile gossip, and unnecessary drama (yes, I believe some drama is necessary). I will teach her to avoid toxic people and to walk away from situations that will make her compromise her values. I will teach her to say no. Most of all, I will teach her that what's most important is that she is happy with herself and her decisions. I hope she will  remember that I will always be there for her.

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