clearing cobwebs

It’s been almost six months since I last wrote in this space. It might be the longest I’ve gone. Girl Genius is taking up a lot of my brainpower, and I just don’t seem to be getting myself to stop to write like I once did. I miss it.

I miss blogging for blogging’s sake. On my other blog, I’ve put it upon myself to have a pretty well-developed idea before putting fingers to keyboard, and my purpose there is pretty specific. I write about grief, about BG, about life after BG. And for the most part, that’s what I want to write when I write, but then I’ve got these new ideas, and maybe I ought to be creating some space for those now and then too. Maybe it’s time to dust off this old space and use it. Maybe it’s time to start a whole new one. I don’t know. I just know I miss kicking off my shoes and playing with ideas.

Suffice it to say, I’ve got a nearly six-month-old. She’s wonderful. She reminds me of her brother, and then she doesn’t at all. She looks like me. Oh what an interesting thing that is. You see, BG didn’t look much like me. People would look at him, then me, and ask me, “Who does he look like?” I would tell them he looked like my grandfather (he really did). But mostly when I looked at him, I saw this completely unique individual. He just got to be BG, a gorgeous, ethereal boy.

But there’s a whole interesting phenomenon happening with a daughter who looks like me. I gaze at her and see my features, and because I think she’s so stunning, I’m forced to reexamine how I see myself, forced to love myself a little more. I can see how women become very critical of their daughters. I can see, too, how women’s self-loathing can harm their daughters, and I’m so mindful of this. I’m working to push away decades-old habits of demeaning myself. It’s no small feat. But I don’t want her to grow up picking herself apart like I did. I want her to be whole. I want her to understand that she is beautiful for who she is. She’ll have plenty of external influences trying to convince her otherwise.

I remember when we found out that BG was to be a boy, and J and I panicked and started reading all sorts of books on raising boys so that we wouldn’t screw him up. We’ve not done that with our girl yet. But now I’m thinking there’s so much I need to know, so much I need to be reminded not to do. I certainly don’t want to screw her up either. I don’t want to do what so many mothers do. I just want to teach her to lover herself. Well, and not to be a Republican.

I have so many ideas bubbling at the surface. I start back to work in a week–just two days of teaching out of the house, but it’s still a lot to think about. But the sunny side is that it will provide me time when I’m sitting in my office during office hours waiting for students who won’t show, time I’ll have to write. So maybe this dusty old space will get a little more use. Maybe I’ll even finally publish that birth story (oh, was it epic!). Maybe.

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5 responses to “clearing cobwebs

  1. Welcome back. 🙂 funny how almost six month olds take up so much of your time and heart and willpower to do anything else (i also can’t believe it’s been almost six months for both of our wee ones!). Looking forward to any future musings you have to offer.

  2. So happy to see this post. My son looks like me, and recently I realized that he has the same squinty left eye when he smiles that I do. I’ve always hated it in pictures, but once I had that realization I just couldn’t hate it anymore, because his squinty eye is so endearing. 🙂

  3. Ainsley

    Made me so happy to see this post!

  4. Leslie

    I’m so happy to see this post and am excited that they might start appearing more often. I love what you had to say about re-examining how you see yourself. This holds true for me, I’ve been told that my daughter and granddaughter look like me, I like you, think they are so beautiful, that I need to consider that I am not as blah as I have always thought I was. Thank you for this ah ha moment and for a post ending in such a sweet picture. GG is a cutie.

  5. When so many people have stopped blogging, it’s nice to see this. Welcome back. So true about being hard on ourselves and trying so hard not to do that with our daughters around.

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