One of the things that I have always marveled at with String Bean is what a girlie girl she is. I have no idea where it came from, since I definitely didn’t get that gene, but she loves sparkles, dresses, jewelry, dressing up, tea parties, playing princess, and pretty much anything else you’d classify as traditionally girlie.
She has a posse of girls that she’s bonded with at school, and enthusiastically greets each morning, and reluctantly leaves each afternoon. In all there are six of them, which I believe is the total number of girls in her pre-K class. They share a brain, travel in a pack, are inseparable throughout the day, and adore each other as only a group of little girls can. Freely expressing their adoration with hugs, squeals, and endless praise for each other’s pretty shoes, beautiful hairstyles, or fancy clothes, this tight-knit little troupe of four-year-olds is an interesting study in the social development of young girls. And oddly, it’s the one aspect of her girlie nature that I can really relate to.
In high school, I had my own pack of girls I traveled in. There were five of us, and we ate lunch together, took classes together, and had endless sleepovers together. We were teased mildly for always being together, for all being the same height, and for speaking in our own secret language that only we could understand. The only difference was that we were not four-year-olds, so teenage hormone-driven drama was all around us, and occasionally infiltrated into our group. By the time I graduated high school, our pack of five was down to three, but I still count those other two girls, now women, as the closest friends I’ll ever have.
So there is something sweetly reminiscent in the way String Bean forgets I exist as soon as her “girls” arrive each morning at school. The way she’ll interrupt our long goodbye and run off beaming, holding hands with one or two of them, showing off her sparkly bracelet or complimenting her girlfriend’s sparkly headband, never looking back at me. I never really cared if I had a girl or a boy, I just wanted healthy babies. But now that I have two girls, I can’t imagine wanting anything different. As different as all three of us are, I feel like my girls and I form our own posse. Like my old group, we definitely speak our own language, have nightly sleepovers, adore each other unabashedly, and the way the girls are growing, very soon we’ll all be the same height. There is comfort in identifying as part of a group, something I think girls learn at a young age and carry with them into adulthood. I’m downright honored to be a part of their little pack.