I’ve always liked that saying. I know it doesn’t have positive connotations, I’ve always taken it to mean do stupid things, and stupid things will come back to you. But for me, lover of storms and lighting, wind, and rain, it’s always meant something more. The whirlwind will come, and you have to be strong enough to withstand it.
The past few months, I have paid increasing attention to the parenting, child-raising blogs. And I have been inundated with advice for little girls. Mostly talking about raising proper little princesses, young ladies who know when to say the right thing, and when to do the right thing. I’ve found myself sneering at more than one link posted by someone on my friends list, rolling my eyes when someone comments on Sprout’s mouthiness and attitude.
Make no mistake, Sprout is growing a smart-mouth on her, and she has a fierce attitude. She gets both of those from me. That is perfectly ok though, it is what I wanted. I wanted to raise her, and now Pudge, strong enough to march into the world, bust the glass ceiling, raise a little Hell. So from the beginning, Sprout has had a voice, I have enjoyed her to talk to me, even when all the talking she could do was an ear-piercing cry. I’m doing the same with Pudge.
The end result, a few years down the road, is a little girl whose hard-headedness, determination, and sheer attitude is outmatched only by my own. Her grandmother gives, bending like a field of wheat in the storm. Her father uses pure force of will to keep her somewhat civil. But there is only one person who can throw a fit like she does in this household, raising Hell clear the Heavens. And that would be me.
I know, from my own childhood, that to curb Sprout’s attitude will mean breaking her. It took me years to unravel Me from the Jennifer I’m Supposed to Be, that perfect imitation of what it means to be a girl, a woman, a wife. I still have moments, where I fear that the real me, wild and carefree, will be too much for the Hubs. My fondest wish for my girls is that they do not have that fear; that they believe, from the top of their curly heads to the bottoms of their pink painted toes, that they are, wild and untamed, exactly as they are supposed to be.
When I posted on facebook about this, that raising an independent woman meant living with an independent little girl, I got one message that caught my attention. That I am reaping the whirlwind. It was meant to be a reminder, to school Sprout in the ways of proper ladyhood, to teach her to say the right things on command, do the right things on command. That I need to teach her to be the painted porcelain doll I was raised to be. At least, that was how I took it.
And to that notion, that I must raise a girl who waits for her prince I say.. Fuck That Nonsense.
I am not raising proper young ladies. I am raising strong, independent, fierce women; who can weather whatever storm comes their way, who can handle what life throws their way. I am not raising little hot-house orchids, incapable of surviving the storm. I am raising thorny roses, beautiful but strong, and capable of defending themselves. If that means I have to deal with a little attitude and backtalk along the way, so be it.
When my girls leave my house, they will be prepared for anything, a man that does them wrong, a man that treats them right, they will be able to run a house, change the oil in their vehicles. They will be able to open their own doors, pay for their own meals, lead their own lives. It will take a special kind of man to be with them, to walk in the storm as Hubs does. But if he cannot accept them as they are, love them as they are, for all their fierceness and attitude and strength, then he does not deserve either of them.
So world… go find your proper young ladies elsewhere.
We are dancing in the storm. And I am happily reaping the whirlwind.