Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fern, Distinctly Shaped

I took one sociology class for my general ed in college, and it's the class that I remember the most.  I remember where I sat, what her tests were like, what the professor looked like, and I remember lectures, word-for-word.  It was fascinating.  One class she told us that girls and boys are raised 100% to be feminine and masculine by their environment.  Girls are girly and domestic because we give them dolls and kitchens to play with when they are young, boys are rowdy because we give them army men and tools.  I'm not sure how much of that I agree with (because I think we are each specifically designed), but I think an element of that is true.  We are formed by our environments.  Our parents and our play and our home and our toys are all among the things that shape who we are.  

Fern is uniquely designed, but I would like to claim some responsibility for her nature.  I've longed for a girl in my family.  For most of my childhood, I was the only sister and the only girl cousin (until I prayed so hard for girl cousins and ended up with 4 wonderful ones in 6 years).  I've stored up so much girliness for so long and now I can unleash it onto a 15 pound red head who is my daughter.  

She is sweet and dainty and careful and precious.  I'm not that way, but Fern has a way of bringing that side out of all of us.  We hold her more carefully.  We talk to her in a higher-pitched voice.  We dress her in ruffles and pink.   We play sweeter games with her.  We tickle her more softly.  We do this because she's our girl.  Our little, precious girl.

Recently, I got to head to Atlanta to visit my closest and longest friend, Lauren.  She just had her second baby, Griffin and I got to hold and smell and kiss him when he was still fresh to the world.  Fern went with me.  It was our first mother-daughter Atlanta trip and she did great.  She was sweet, she was my dinner date, and she was a great shopping companion when we hit the Gap Outlet on the way home.  

Back home, she can be found many places and doing new things.  She can be found...

...with two teeth
...picking things off the floor
...slowly crawling from one room to the other
...looking for colorful toys
...barely pulling to a standing position
...right by my feet while I make dinner
...sitting still, watching it all
...laughing the hardest at her big brother
...wearing pink or ruffles or both
...eating anything she can get her hands on
...trying new things
...doing those new things with much caution
...feeling the music, and swaying her head
...saying mama and dada when prompted
...climbing on mama, laying her head down and thumb in her mouth when she needs a small dose of snuggle.  {my favorite new thing}

It can be said of any every person at any age, but it is often said of Fern at this time:  she is really coming alive, opening up, and coming into her own.  Whether we've shaped her or she's already set to be one way, I don't know.  I think it's a combination of both.  Either way, we adore our Fernie.  


  1. It's amazing how she looks so like her brother (and therefore your hubby!)....but not.

    she's lovely!

    1. Thanks! When it's just the two of us, people say she looks like me. But if they know Burl and John, they see the cloning. Ha.

  2. She's so precious! Looking so much like her Daddy in these pics!

  3. What a great post. She'll love reading this when she's older.