I have always wanted to be a woman. I couldn't wait to wear high heels, have boobs to fill out something other than a training bra, and I would even pray to the divine Lord above for him to send me my period. Seriously, He must have gotten a good laugh outta that one.
I would steal away to my mom's closet when she wasn't in town, trying on her high heels, dressing up in these ridiculous fur coats from my great-grandmother, and putting on "big girl bras" to see if I'd gotten any closer to filling them out (I hadn't). I would imagine the parties I would throw, wearing pearls and saying "oh daaaaahling, so divine of you to come" and giggling while swirling a glass of white zinfandel. I would imagine reminding my husband to pick up the dry cleaning, picking children up from school in the back of my '69 orange firebird convertible, and generally living the good life.
what I was in for.
I still don't.
I still find myself craving these same desires of what I define as womanhood. The marital bliss, the brood of children, the high heels, and yes, swirling glasses of wine (though thankfully I've upgraded from white zin!) with "daaaaaahling" girlfriends. But now I know it doesn't come so easy. It's not a rite of passage, not an automatic punch in your card of life experiences when age X comes around. I knew at that young age that some day I'd be allowed to wear high heels, that my period would come, that boobs more or less would grow, and eventually I could drink wine if I wanted to. I never knew that the rest wouldn't work out that way, too.
All of those things mean nothing to me now when compared with the desires that don't come as easily. I know now that not all of us find our soul mates at the age the media and movies and the little girl inside have us expecting, if ever. And when we do, sometimes it isn't all bliss. I know now that having children is hard work and not something that happens easily without a lot of praying, planning, and quiet dreams that are only whispered for fear of how many pieces our hearts will break into if they aren't fulfilled. And this isn't even talking about the work that comes after they are actually born!
But the quiet recesses of my mind are full. No longer do I desire to steal away to my mother's closet, to keep my longings secret and hidden. I am wiser, if not more scared, by my knowledge of the lack of fairytale endings. And in all my wisdom, I know that to share this fear is the only way to endure it. To be there for each other, no matter what battle the other is facing, and to do so with love, compassion, and okay a big bottle of wine, too!, is the ultimate stamp of what it means to be a woman. To endure together, lovingly, with acceptance, humility, and faith.
I am so thankful for my sisters, for their love and their willingness to listen to my fears and share their own. Now I just pray that I have them by my side and I by theirs. The boobs can wait.