So as you all know, I have a lot of boys. Three of them to be exact. And they all came in order. So for five years or so, all we did was boy. Boy, boy, boy. And more boy.
When Elliana joined our family, I knew she would be different. But I wasn't quite sure how. The first year I noticed a few things, besides the obvious, that she did differently than the boys. One of those things is that she babbled. A lot. My boys babbled, but nothing like her. She babbled all.the.time. It was like she was trying to have a heart to heart while getting her diaper changed. The other thing I noticed is that she enjoyed eye contact much more as well. She wanted us to look at her and smile. She studied our faces and relished in our reactions. She needed it. She needed that security. Both of these differences made sense. She's a girl. She's talkative and relational. Duh!
They especially made sense to me because well, I am a female myself.
But now that she's been getting a bit older and moving into toddlerland, I have started to see even more, that who she is, really is how she is wired and not simply the result of "conditioning".
Do you remember Psych 101 where we were taught that our gender is merely a result of our conditioning? I remember sitting in the PAC lecture hall at Cal Poly listening to a professor drone on how our gender is conditioned into us by our parents and not by our biology. While there might be some conditioning going on, I believe (and did then as well) that essentially we were created male and female and that our differences were a result of original, creative wiring, not our environment. I remember thinking then it was all a bunch of bunk. Now I'm totally convinced.
If anything, this little girl has been "conditioned" to be boyish because we mostly have boy toys, she has three big brothers and her parents have been in boy mode for so long that half of the time we refer to her as "buddy." (Slowly we're getting more used to calling her "Miss" and using the pronoun "she").
Yet despite her "nurture", she is still explicitly girly. Let me give you a few examples. We have about five hundred books. We have maybe five that are girly. I can't tell you how she finds them. They're like a needle in a haystack. But she does. And she brings those ones out for me to read to her, time and time and time again.It amazes me. She's attracted to them. I didn't even remember we had them. She found them and she just knew...those are girl books and I want to read them!!
We have one little tiara. That's the extent of our girl dress ups for right now (it's only a matter of time). But when we put that simple tiara on her head, she lights up and smiles from ear to ear. She just KNOWS it's bling. She knows it makes her look beautiful. She innately knows it. And she wants it. I didn't show her that. I definitely don't go around wearing a tiara.
She got a kitchen for her for her birthday from both grandparents and us. That is the one toy she goes back to over and over and over again. Did I mention we have every kind of train, lego, car race track and building toy you could think of? Yet, she wants her kitchen, every time.
I've also noticed that her whole make-up emotionally is just really different. She's softer, gentler, more emotional and more timid. When she gets hurt, she cries for longer and wants to be held closer. She gets scared more easily and she gets her "feelings hurt" when she is told, "No." My boys never got their feelings hurt. They might have been mad when they were given a boundary, but they were never hurt about it.
The more she grows, the more distinctly feminine she becomes. Since I have so many wild reeds, it's really easy to spot a rose. Yet, her femininity complements her brothers tremendously. She brings out a gentleness in them they had never known before just by being herself.
By being distinctly feminine.
I'm starting to think all of those crazy psychologists need to spend one afternoon with my crew. If they did, they would have to throw all of their theories about gender out the window.
There's so much confusion in our day about male and female. But God really made it simple. We shouldn't try and be something we're not. It goes against our very nature. I am a female. My husband is a male. We were designed for different purposes and are wired totally differently. Together, we're an amazing picture of God's ultimate creativity and grace.
God made us different. And it's okay. In fact, it is truly beautiful.
We're so thankful that Elliana's presence reminds us about the softer side of life.
We love our Elliana.
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