Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Am I a SMOG?

Apparently there's a word for people like me. It's SMOG - Smug Mother Of Girl(s) - which is a bit unfair because we took what we were given. In fact so elated were we when our baby came out we completely forgot to ask what sex it was until the midwife asked us if we wanted to know.

But actually I did desperately want a girl. Not because there is anything wrong with boys, and I am sure I would have loved a son and will love any future sons, but because I so wanted a girl with whom I might have the relationship I have with my own mother, who may want me when she has a baby the way I wanted and continue to want my mum, who will continue the long line of strong, stroppy-when-necessary women, with whom I can share the experience not just of being but of being a woman.

Actually real SMOGs, according to the paper, aren't just pleased to have girls, but actually don't like boys or what is thought of as 'boyish' behaviour. This definitely isn't me - some of my best friends are boys, I even married one - plus I don't believe that there is such a thing as boyish behaviour and girlish (let's not use the word girly, please) behaviour, just being children.

But I am hugely thrilled our baby turned out to be a girl. When my daughter was a couple of weeks old my mum gave me a framed print. It showed her mum's mum, her mum, her, me and my daughter, one after the other. It has become one of my most treasured possessions. The life of my great grandmother (who I never knew) will be vastly different to the life of my daughter, yet by virtue of being a woman they will share many key experiences too, and I feel honoured to have the chance to share this with them both. I am sure my daughter will have many moments where she thinks I don't understand her, and no doubt she will be right at least some of the time, but I will understand some things too, more than she will ever know, unless she has a girl of her own one day.

Related post: The magical impenetrable world of brothers

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