Michelle,40, taught Special Education for 10 years, but all she really wanted to do is just be a mom. She grew up with 2 older brothers. When Michelle was a little girl, she “played a ton outside.” She thinks it was easier, back then, to do that. She didn’t have sidewalks where she lived on a dead-end street, with a pond in back; but she and her friends could ride their bikes. She played with her friends in the neighborhood and at school. She loved playing with dolls. (Michelle is a little camera-shy, so I cropped her from a larger picture of her and her Daisy Troop.)
Michelle remembers her first day of school as a day when she got prettied up. She loved to wear dresses a lot. Maybe that’s why she was Daddy’s little girl. Just when she needed her father most, he passed away. Michelle was just 12 years old. As a result, when many girls are pushing away from their mother, Michelle became very close to hers.
Michelle’s mother taught her the importance of being there for her children. Married for 13 years, she lives a simple life with her husband and three daughters as her focal point. That said, Michelle also recognizes the importance of “me-time.” She plays softball in the summer and has a group of women friends that just go out and have a blast.
For Michelle, the scariest thing about raising daughters is all the stories she’s heard about teenage years. She was a pretty calm child herself. Her advice to mothers is “love your kids, pick your battles. Be patient and above all have fun. Make memories.” It’s so worth the time investment.
Katie is 7, and going in the 2nd grade this year. Her favorite color is yellow because it’s pretty and because it’s the color of the sun. Her favorite number is 100, just because. Katie’s favorite thing at school is recess because it’s fun and she likes to play with her friends. She’s still thinking about what she she’ll be like when she’s a grown-up woman. (That’s okay, Katie, that can be an ever-changing target at any age.)
Mandie is 6 years old and in the 1st grade. She loves purple and princesses. Her favorite subject is Art and painting. Mandie loves being with other people. She plays park district t-ball.This year she was a shooting star in a local production of Aladdin Junior.
Emilie will be 8 years old in 2 weeks. She starts second grade soon. (Wait a minute. Are you and Katie the same age? Yes, indeed. They are twins.) Emilie’s favorite colors are pink and red and purple because pink is girly, red is the color of hearts, purple because it’s the end of rainbow. Emilie says, “I like ends of stuff: End of stories and movies.” Her favorite number is 8, because that’s how old she’ll be on her next birthday. She loves Math and Art, and doesn’t want to decide between the two. Oh wait, make that Art, Art Art. She wants to be a Dress Designer kind artist. Emilie will need her love of math for that. She wants the world to know she’s a really good artist. When Emilie is a grown woman she will do what I want to do. “I will eat pudding whenever I want to.”
If you or someone you know has daughters and wish to be part of my “Little Girls Then and When,” please let me know. I always look forward to making new friends. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.