if you know me or have followed anything I’ve written in the past, you likely know I have three boys. and I’m always being asked if I’m done. if I’m going to try for that girl.
and while the older I get, the less often those questions are asked, we can save the topic of aging and no more procreation and older children and all things bittersweet for another time. I believe that I was built to be the mother of boys. and sure, this could be just be me trying to find meaning and order to a universe that three times running just happened to randomly provide me with that Y chromosome instead of the second X. looking for reason, as we all do, when things happen that we don’t plan or expect or understand, or that are tragic or overwhelming. but today my pendulum is swinging toward the “things happen for a reason” side of things, as it generally does.
for a very long time I had absolutely no interest in having a girl. I was a girl. and I was awful. well, maybe not awful (we might have to consult my mother on this), but surely trouble enough. and you know I would’ve ended up with one just like me. or maybe one who was nothing like me whom I wouldn’t understand at all. or all manner of complicated variation in between. but facing the reality of that “having kids” door close, it’s a much different thing. I don’t ache for little girls I never knew I wanted. not anymore. but I still wonder what kind of girl (and ultimately, what kind of woman) she would be. would I be able to help her avert some of the mistakes I made. would I want to? what would she look like, and would she be smart, funny, serious? the great fun of biological children (beyond creating them) is seeing what kind of being the genetic swirl comes up with each and every time.
so anyway, my life is not filled with pinks or glitter or flowers. or leggings and lace. or bows and bracelets. or barbies (boys call them “action figures”). and that’s okay. I have legos and lightsabers. compasses and pocketknives. crates full of tried-and-discarded sports equipment. various ways to hit things with other things. blues and greens and reds and grays and blacks.
and. I. will. not. have. teenage. daughters. amen.
but this Girls Rock Camp showed me, reminded me, there are all manner of girls than the stereotypical non-existent ones I create in my head. girls who eschew all things pink. badass strutting little women who screech into microphones. or pluck at bass guitars, lips slightly pursed as required. who can rock out on a drum set or keyboard or guitar. or shake that tambourine like nobody’s business. these ladies have the courage to show up to a week-long camp–many having never picked up a musical instrument before–and select instruments, form bands, learn basic chords and drum beats, and design promotional materials for the concert. they get lessons on female empowerment, self-defense, and how women are represented in the media. all of the campers and instructors are women. girl power, indeed.
during all of that, they collaborate to create the music and lyrics to a song. AND. THEN. THEY. PERFORM.
I was lucky enough to be a part of Ladies Rock Camp, which is a fundraiser for Girls Rock Camp (thanks, Stacey Singer, I heart you). and both times I’ve been struck by how comparitively different my life is, not being surrounded by estrogen. the energy is just so diffferent. the love, the support, the laughter. it’s just a different brand of connection. and it’s amazing.
not that I’ve thought about this much, but…my make-believe girl? she’s strong and sassy and smart. she’s much kinder than I am. and hilarious. she’s got attititude and is full of wiseassery. she’s unaware that she is beautiful. she respects herself and other people. she makes the world a better place. she is absolutely a Girls Rock Camp kind of girl.
and now there is the wonderful realization that gender aside, my boys are exactly the kind of children I that I just described. rock on.