Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

That's what little girls are made of

When I was sick over the weekend,
I awoke from a nap to find the girls had raided my flower garden to bring me sweet little vases of get-well flowers.  One of the vases, a tiny white porcelain vase with delicate flowers printed on the sides, is one of only three things I possess that belonged to my grandmother.  Another, a blue-tinted glass vase, was given to me by my sister when I became a mom.  She told me it was "to hold the little dandelions that your children will bring you".  Over the years it has served it's purpose well. 

I think it is in the heart of all little girls, from the time they can embrace a baby doll and pat it's back (or a remote control, or a shoe...), to be nurturers.  We are hard wired to care for -and about- others.  The more we love them, the more we are willing to do to tend to their needs.  It has been explained that this is one of the reasons girls might be willing to become promiscuous when they reach teen years; we have a drive within us to comfort and please others.  In this case, though, the recipient would be a teenage boy, and -well, that's when Dad gets to exercise his God-given drive to protect his offspring. 

In fact, the studies that show the "fight or flight" response to a perceived threat were all done on men.  When later, similar studies were conducted on women, the researchers found that a woman's response is quite different.  "They" (you know, the "they" in "They did a study"), had to give the response a catchy name, so they called it "tend or befriend".  It is the phenomenon occurring when a woman who is being threatened will turn to her aggressors and try to please, tend, comfort or befriend them, thus reducing the stress level of their aggressor and in some instances giving the woman more control over her situation .  In childbirth we learn that this instinct works against her favor, as she surrenders her desires to whomever is taking command, often agreeing to interventions she would not have otherwise agreed to.

My point... I'm sure I left it around here somewhere...

We are hard wired this way.  We can't help but help.  We care.  We comfort.  We nurture.  We love.

Oh, we have our off days - once a month or so.  But isn't it nice, in our culture of "look out for number one", that it's not all Lord of the Flies?  Women bring a balance (and often the food and entertainment) to life.

If you don't have one already, go out and get a little bitty vase for your dandelions.  One of the beauties of being a nurturer is that children learn by example, and therefore as you nurture your sons, they become flower-bringers too.  They see their mothers, and hopefully their fathers, showing kindness and empathy, and they follow suit.

Girls are nice, but we can all be a little bit sugar and spice.

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