It's funny to think back now, to our pre-children days and the plans that we made. Because we were so sure back then that we had a future full of boys. I liked the idea of a daughter, but just didn't see it in our future really, and both Rich and I pictured a life full of boisterous play, football training and cute little boys becoming handsome young men.
So when our beautiful girl came into the world, I was beyond surprised. Thrilled, but a little shocked. A girl...? Were they sure? For us...?
I felt like being a girl mummy was going to be a steep learning curve, for someone who felt born to be a boy-mama. And Rich had grown up surrounded by boys, with a little brother, all male cousins and going to boys' school. Were we up to the job of raising a little lady? It felt like a big responsibility too, because there seems to be so much pressure on girls these days, and how was I supposed to navigate that? Boys are simpler creatures and on the whole, all my experience teaching little boys had shown me that what you see is what you get with boys. And girls just seemed so much more complicated... Like little women from day one.
And honestly...? I was right! Girls are more complex, and boys are more simplistic. While our beautiful boy has a very black and white view of things, is eager to please, and friends with everyone he meets; his little sister sees all those colours inbetween, is a total free spirit dancing to her own tune, and is discerning about who she likes and who she doesn't.
And as much as I always expected to be the boy-mummy, felt like that was going to be 'my thing'; two and a half years in I can say with my hand on my heart, that I wouldn't have missed out on being this girl's mummy for anything in the universe.
We were blessed with the absolute perfect package of girl for our family; she's loud, she's messy, she's stubborn and so strong-willed, she's independent and brave, but also shy at times. She can play the fairy and the ballerina one minute, then throw herself into a muddy puddle with a grubby face and scarecrow hair the next minute.
In truth she's a wild thing, not really ours, but her own... and I love, love, love that about her.
My inner hippy runs free in this little one, unedited and untamed. My creative flair runs deep in her too. And my stubborn streak. And so does her daddy's rebellious nature and cheeky way of getting away with murder.
And I hope that crazy spirit that lives in her so loudly is never quietened, because while she can push all our buttons some days; she knows what she wants and she isn't afraid of that, she won't be walked over and she lives for the moment. And I would like a little more of that myself if I'm honest.
This little lady just brings us all so much joy that it seems crazy that we didn't really see her in our futures. She's cute and hilarious, such a true mixture of her daddy and her mummy, that she enchants both sides of the family and has Rich and I cringing/smiling/despairing in recognition. She is a contrast to her big brother; one that challenges him and hero worships him in equal measure. And we can't wait to see her in her new role as big sister, because we just know it will be another chance for her to shine... because she's just going to rock it, just because she is her.