My girls are growing too quickly.  On this night of Zoë's seventh rotation around the sun, I cannot believe what I hear out of their mouths.  I love them both so much my heart could burst and I would do anything to protect them....but sometimes I feel limited.   As we were going to bed tonight, Zoë said to me that girls are fancier, but boys are way cooler.  What?  Where is she getting that from?  Haven't I taught her to believe in herself and know that girls are just as good as boys, just as strong, just as capable?!?!   I run a girls' group every week where I teach these things,....can't I teach them to my own girls????    

And then.....double whammy....Andie says to me that she wishes she could re-do her life and have all the same experiences but just be prettier and more popular.  What?!?!!!!!  This is coming from my independent, unique, creative girl who has never cared what people thought about her.   She is struggling to find her place without Lainey....and it is affecting her self esteem.   How can she feel the need to be prettier and more popular?   Where is she getting this from?  No more Disney shows.   No more fitting in and wannabe's and weirdos and the in-crowd.   I don't want her thinking about those things....but it's probably too late and it's probably inevitable anyway.  

I think I'm just sad.  Sad that my whole career I've worked with girls on believing in themselves and then my own two daughters question who they are.  I'm sad because while I've always known that being a girl in the world was tough, I never really saw it shaking my's never been personal until now.   I'm sad that my baby girl is hurting and wishing she was someone else.  It hurts me so much to hear her say she wishes she had a different life or that she was small and cute like her little sister.   I pray that she doesn't seek, crave, need that attention to believe in herself, to like who she is.  She is so much better, deeper than that.   She is beautiful because of who she is.... faults and all.  

How can I help her to be confident, strong, capable - without seeking approval outside of herself ?   How can I help maintain her spirit?   I've always felt sheltered here in our sweet little school, but the reality of growing up hits girls wherever they are I guess.    I wish I had more answers.  For now, all I can hope is that my head is more clear in the morning when I've had some time away from it all and I see my radiant little girls beaming at something they've accomplished or laughing with their friends.  I pray that our unconditional love and (mostly) positive example in life will steer the girls in the right direction....and that while the journey will never be easy, it will be worthwhile in the end - two young girls who will turn into beautiful, confident, empathetic, strong women - not questioning if they are cool enough, or popular enough, or pretty enough....but just believing in themselves and all that they are.      If I am expecting too much, then I need to work more than I thought.