Saturday, November 5, 2011

On having a daughter

When I was first pregnant, I thought I was having a boy. I wanted to have a boy. Thinking back, I'm not sure why. Perhaps something to do with B being the only boy in his family (of his generation). Now that we actually have her, I couldn't be more thrilled with the idea of raising a girl.

At five months, Mia is adorable and so much fun. She babbles and giggles and has tons of hair that I get to put bows in. Even though she's already a bundle of personality, I'm sure this is nothing compared to what she will be like in a few years (or even months!). I think back on what I was like as a girl, and so many of the things I liked then are somehow related to the things I like now. My mom has so many stories of me singing everywhere and at anytime. I don't have any particular kind of talent, but I definitely still enjoy a good Karaoke performance now and then. My mom also tells stories of me having either a book, or a doll, or both with me at all times, whether we were going to Church, or out for brunch, or on a long trip. I look forward to sharing these things with her as she grows up, and hope she takes as much joy out of them as I did (and do!).

My favorite book from 2nd to 5th grade was A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I felt so accomplished when I read it for the first time. It was a real novel, with chapters and no pictures! Although it was a pretty sad story, I would read it over and over, feeling as emotional every time. My mom still has my old battered hard bound copy, and I really look forward to handing it off to Mia when she gets to be the right age.

When I started pushing 'tween' age, I put A Little Princess aside, and picked up Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. If you think about it, it's really a similar story. Formerly wealthy girl(s) fall on hard times, experience some tragedy, and overcome everything for a happy ending. I had two copies of this one, one in French ("Les Quatres Filles du Docteur March" - The Four Daughters of Doctor March) and one in English. I read them over and over, only varying the language.

In my Freshman English class, we read Pride and Prejudice, my first Jane Austen novel. I think I was too young to appreciate it the first time I read it, because it wasn't until I heard that Bridget Jones's Diary was based on it that I picked it up again and really appreciated it. I watch the 4+ hour BBC Pride and Prejudice a few times a year. Now, I've read all Jane Austen except for Northanger Abbey which for some reason I haven't been able to get sucked into. Again, it's a similar type of story!

I have a feeling that I'll be quite heartbroken if, inevitably, Mia (or any of my future children) don't have the same appreciation for these stories as I do. I can't imagine too many teenage kids these days spending an afternoon watching anything produced by BBC, with the small budgets and lack of flashiness. As long as she (they) like Harry Potter (which I have read at least as many times as Pride and Prejudice), something I unfortunately had to wait until I was a teenager to experience and love, I supposed I can get by!

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