I was playing with our daughter tonight and this poem came to mind that I heard sometime ago.
What is a Girl?
Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angel-shine about them and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart— when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, parading up the street in mother’s best clothes. A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises and frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten. And to top it off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman. A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, doll make-believe, ice cream, make-up, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn’t care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snow suit or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, prettiest when she has provoked you, busiest at bedtime, quietest when you want to show her off, and most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity—spend your money, your time, and your temper—then just when your patience is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-racking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess, when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all, she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, “I love you best of all!” —Alan Beck (Copyright 1950 by New England Mutual Life Insurance Company)