“I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good; to be admired, loved, and respected; to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman; and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience…
My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world–marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing–and, when well used, a noble thing–but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I’d rather see you poor men’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.” (Quote from “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott)
Those three words sum up what I want for my girls: happy, beloved and contented. I love this quote from Little Women. This weekend my older girls, their brother and Gary went away on a church weekend. Whilst I was having a blast back home with my younger two, Gary et al were having a blast in Oxfordshire. They all arrived home full of wonderful stories of adventures and new experiences. L10, my more serious twin, mentioned that there was one thing she really didn’t feel comfortable with and that was all the talk of boyfriends and girlfriends. My heart sunk. Gary and I don’t want to deal with this EVER, but at 10 years of age? They’re barely out of nappies. There will be no dating in this household for a loooong time! I took a deep breath, getting myself into lecture mode, when I was pipped to the post by two very indignant daughters who went off into a tirade all of their own. Apparently, when faced with a group asking them if they had a boyfriend, they had replied clearly and very confidently (they were at that very moment acting it out for me!) that they were far too young to be dating and anyway they were not going to date, they would be courting with their daddy’s blessing(!). Amen to that!! (I sent a quick prayer that they would feel that fervent about the subject when they were older!). Mouth opened, I shut it. I was not necessary. The girls had handled it with poise, honesty and passion. They were not afraid to be different and more importantly they were not afraid to be themselves.
Their minds might change. Maybe they will date. Or maybe they’ll stay true to their convictions. Only time will tell. Me? I learnt a lesson that day to trust my daughter’s own innate sense of who they are and who they will become.
That said, I know I will still be praying for happiness, contentedness and for each and every one of my girls to be loved for who they are. That they will become someone’s beloved, for there is no feeling like it in the world.
T11 has posted his first post about rope making and knot tying. Please do go and have a look!