I write so much about Ainsley and her girlish ways, I wonder if readers wonder if she's all fluff and no substance. And I then remember I have roughly twenty-five subscribers and realize I'm not quite rocking the world. And I remember my nieces who were as girly as girly could be and then went on to develop unique, diverse styles, some the adult version of girly and some not.
Mostly I remember just how fun it all is, and who cares what anyone else thinks anyway?
I like having a girl.
Having a girl is full of iconic moments -- her first doll, her first doll house, her first tights. The other day Ainsley's pal Isabel, Rachel's little girl, climbed into our van in her new ballet get-up. Oh. My. Goodness. The slippers, the leotard, the tiny skirt! I just may have to take a second glance at the Augusta Ballet website and see if the Dolin schedule and budget can handle dance some time soon.
And I'm still looking forward to that Easy Bake Oven.
Back in the day when boys ruled, and there wasn't a single girl to drool, I swore I'd do two things if I happened to bring forth a girl child:
1. I would sew.
2. I would do hair.
Sewing is on the back burner for now, maybe not for long, but for now. As for hair, this I confront on a daily basis.
As Ainsley's hair grew, oh, how delighted was her mother! So cute and blonde to boot. Blonde! How did I end up with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter? All too soon, though, I learned that the whole hair thing is fraught with troubles. First, there's bed head. Boys, too, deal with bed head, but there are two quick and easy solutions to this: spray bottles and haircuts. I certainly pull out not just the spray bottle but the de-tangler with Ainsley, but there's no cutting to be done. I learned this early on.
I was reading Rachel's blog one day when Dave glanced my way and caught sight of a picture of Isabel.
"Why is her hair longer than Ainsley's?" His tone was equal parts surprise and concern.
I cracked up.
See, mothers aren't the only ones with visions of life with daughter.
A little over a year ago, I grew tired of fighting the bow and barrette battle every day, so I had Ainsley's hair cut into a tidy bob -- not especially short, but a cleaner, fuller look that worked even went she opted out of hair accessories.
Daddy was not pleased. Oh, he wasn't mad mad, but it appears he, too, had ideas of how his daughter would look, and long hair made the list.
(For the record, we don't wear ankle length skirts, and I don't sport a bun unless I've skipped my shower).
So her hair is getting longer and a tad scraggly and with all the pool and lake goings on this summer, I didn't fight the good fight except for church and other outings.
While visiting Dave's parents, we frequent several nifty nearby parks. I love John and Ainsley's ability to hop into a crowd of kids they don't know and just make friends. Most of Ainsley's new-found pals were African American. Two little girls sported braids -- long, beautiful braids with -- and here's the kicker -- beads, beads!
Ainsley was captivated. Mesmerized. Covetous, even.
Oh, how she talked about those girls and their braids.
Now I've heard enough from black friends to know these do's are a) expensive and b) really time consuming. And let me tell you something about my sweet Ainsley: No way, no how would she survive what it takes for braids and beads. She's the girl who regularly falls apart each morning as I attempt a minor de-tangle.
"You comb my hair Every! Single! Day!" she wailed one particularly knotty day.
Yes, folks, except for a few bohemian weeks on Pelee Island when a) I was tired of fighting it and b) I ran out of elastics, I do, indeed, comb her hair every single day. Most days this summer she looked like the picture to the left, and the boys took to calling her Cosette for her waifish appearance.
And then my sister came to the rescue. She arrived back on the Island with a container of elastics that don't pull. Ainsley will wear them nearly all day long. So now we see this: