I married into a beautiful family. My father-in-law is a handsome man with thick, beautiful hair and magnetic eyes (which my husband inherited from him...rowza!). My mother-in-law is beautiful, too. Her smile lights up the room, and the pictures of her when she was in college look as though they belong in a magazine. Matt's brother, Paul, shares many characteristics of his dad and Matt. Need I say more? There are Matt's 6 sisters. They all have big eyes, stunning smiles, nearly perfect figures, and legs that go on for miles. And of course, there's my husband, the hottest man on the planet! How unusual is that, though, to have a family of 10 people, all of whom are (by the world's standards) exceptionally attractive?
Now along comes Snapper. When I found out I was pregnant with her, I expected that my features, being dark and dominant, would over-rule Matt's genetics and produce for us a dark little copy of me. Imagine my surprise when I popped out a fair-skin, blond-haired, blue-eyed girl with legs (and feet, heh heh) that go for miles. That baby will be turning 6 in 2 weeks, and I'm beginning to get an idea of the bombshell I will be letting go into a world of drooling males in just a few years. And I'm more than a little bit scared.
Yesterday Snapper came downstairs wearing an outfit she has worn all summer--a green and pink t-shirt and a cute little flared pink skirt. Only yesterday, I noticed how much Snapper has grown over the summer. When she stands up straight, her fingertips fall well below the hem of her skirt. And the shirt? It fits her closely along her sides. I sent her upstairs to change her clothes because the outfit was too small. A few minutes later, she called me. I came to the bottom of the stairs, looked up, and received the shock of my life. Let me paint you a picture if I can. (If I had my own computer, I could put a real photo in. Grrr....!)
There at the top of the stairs stands Snapper with her hand planted firmly on her stuck-out little hip. She still has on that little pink skirt, which shows WAY too much of those long, pretty legs. And the shirt? It is short enough to show a cute, little belly button. Her long bangs are falling over one side of her face. And to top it off, she's wearing her pink Barbie high heels and some lip gloss. Then she says to me in an aloof, almost fluttery voice, "Well Mother, there are no more clean clothes in my room. I guess I'll just have to wear this!" Mother? Since when does she call me Mother? What in the world is that tone of voice, and where did that stuck out hip come from? And I never told her she could wear lip gloss!
As I stood there gaping at the gorgeous, sassy, little creature I call my daughter, my mind tripped and scrambled forward about 9 years, and I got a sneak preview of the 15-year-old Snapper I will be facing then. It was enough to make me quake in my boots. See Matt? Look what your genes have produced! What in the world was I thinking having kids? How in the world will be survive the teen years? And how will we ever manage to keep this precious child modest, unaffected, and pure when she packs around with her so much natural beauty and irresistable pizzazz?
All afternoon I thought about my dilemma: how are Matt and I going to raise Snapper into a young lady of high morals, personal conviction, purity, modesty, and humility? Our culture certainly isn't going to help us! I could go on all day about the slutty, sexy clothes they are making for 5-year-olds! As I cuddled in bed with my sweet little girl--properly attired in lavendar Carter's jammies--I determined to start Snapper's training NOW. I'm not going to wait until she's 12 to talk about modesty and purity. I will help her now to choose clothing that is cute, modest, and age-appropriate. I'm not going to wait until she's 14 to talk about her conduct around boys. I'm not going to leave the strength and closeness of our relationship to chance. No. She is too important to let any of this wait. So now I'm processing what my approach will be with Snapper. How will I cultivate an open, close relationship with my daughter that will set the stage for the challenges we will face in her teen years? I invite you to share in our journey, and I will keep you posted as God gives me fresh ideas, and successes in the process.