Girls and Gumption.

It is a wonder to me that, not only do I have a shred of confidence, I have a goodly amount of it (on most days).

Because, aside from my Mom, I was the only girl among a pack of teasing, pestering men.

I sit in a particularly sweet spot in the family line-up, the baby of the family, not to mention the long-awaited, unexpected daughter following three sons right in a row. But if you envy me for that, I’ll pinch you, as I have had to pay for all the advantages that came with being the baby girl, namely a whole lotta disrespect. If anyone was in the mood to be a pest, I was the easiest and most reactive target.

I realize now that I brought some of this on myself…

I was maybe a tiny bit bossy. Now that I am on the mothering side of life, I realize how truly funny and ridiculous it is to hear a pipsqueak barking out orders to the rest of the family. As a child, I suppose I thought I had lots of answers, but my bossing always backfired on me…

For instance, my Mom often recalls sending me out the door with my Dad and brothers one day for a fishing trip. The five of us loaded up all of our stuff into the truck, piled in and had disappeared from view when she noticed the pick-up was reversing back up our long driveway. It screeched to a halt at the sidewalk, the passenger door opened, and out I dropped, deposited into the front yard like a package from UPS. My Dad grinned and waved, and off they drove back down the driveway, sans Bossy-Britches. Apparently, I was telling “the boys” where we were going to go and what we were going to do and how we were going to do it before we had even made it down the driveway…and they just weren’t having it that day. I was banished that quickly from the fishing trip.

{My Daddy must have forgiven me and gave me another chance; he often recounts another fishing outing wherein I took all of my important things with me – baby dolls, books, a blanket – and just as I would get everything set up just so, he would be finished with that fishing hole and ready to try another. So I would pack everything back up, load up into the pickup, go to the next hole, unpack, lay everything out, and the story repeated itself until I was quite put out with him and determined to never go fishing again.}

And aside from the bossiness, I was also probably rather dramatic as a child…or at least I tried to be. Not that they gave the tiniest amount of respect to my theatrics. I remember growing so frustrated that when I cried, no one listened, but instead, the entire room (except for my sweet mother) would begin to howl like coyotes. I would cry louder over their noise and they would howl louder. Insufferable.

But to be fair, the truth of the matter is that with or without the bossiness and dramatics, I never stood a chance. Boys will be boys, yes? I used to fancy myself Little Red Riding Hood and would put a little red cloak over my head and pretend I was going to Granny’s house. But my brothers and Dad would interrupt my daydreams and infuriate me by calling me “Little Red Riding Thug.” Daddy said I would cry every time. (sidenote: Who does that?? Calls a sweet little imaginative girl “Little Red Riding Thug”? Geeze…)

My Dad also liked to call me “little feller” (something he still does to little girls) to get me riled up, and then my personal favorite, he nicknamed me “Chunker” in middle school (when I was actually quite slender). He still calls me by that lovely name and tries to pinch at my love handles almost every time I see him. Which is almost every day.

And while we’re on the subject of why I should have zero confidence, I will also never ever forget the time when my brother, Pete, informed me that he had been driving in the car with one of his friends when he saw a billboard for Laser Hair Removal. He promptly called the number and, when the receptionist answered, he said “Yeah, how much would it cost for you guys to get rid of my sister’s mustache?” all while his friend rolled in the passenger seat. I could have killed him on the spot, although his inquiry may or may not have resulted in my first medical procedure.

But do you see what I mean now? About the self-confidence thing? Its a miracle.

And so I just think it is too hilarious that my Dad now has FIVE granddaughters, each one of them bossy-in-their-own-way and sensitive and chock full of personality. He has a fine line to walk to keep this houseful of tenderness from uprising on him, and there are dolls and flowers and shoes and barrettes and girlishness all over the place when we go for a visit.

And none of them are bossier or more vocal than my own Rebekah Sunday (she’s the one on the far right – you can tell she’s bossy just by looking at her!)…

She has an opinion for everything, she’s nosier than all get out and she corrects even the nurses at the doctor’s office when they call her back for her check-ups…”ACTUALLY, my name is Rebekah SUNDAY.”

A couple of months ago, she was crying because of a storm and so I went upstairs to comfort her…

As I stroked her hair and caressed her soft little cheeks, she calmed down and, closing her eyes, laid quietly enjoying my ministrations. “You are so beautiful.” I whispered, taking in the sight of her. She whispered something in reply, but due to her pacifier, I could neither hear nor understand her. “What did you say?” I asked, leaning down closer to her face. She opened her eyes and gazed into mine before whispering in her no-nonsense voice “I said ‘I know dat.'”

And just yesterday as she clomped up the stairs to her room, she was repeating in a sing-song voice, “I am a beautiful princess!” Her clothing: a much too-little sundress from last year. Her sole accessory: a giant Pull-Up wedgie. The girl don’t care what she looks like…in her heart she could rule the world. And I think she might be right…



Confident like I’ve never seen.

My Dad has met his match.

She is like me all over again, but has the gumption to hang in there.

I doubt she would ever have been kicked out of the pick-up truck.

making sure Granddaddy shares a generous amount of his after-work drink and snack

8 thoughts on “Girls and Gumption.

  1. LOTS of LOL’s; one of my favorites! Maybe because we had a “baby princess” in our house too — until our surprise blessing (Michael) came along. The guys howling like coyotes, and dropping you off after backing up the driveway, hilarious — and knowing the guys, doesn’t take a lot of imagination to envision, either! 🙂

    • Isn’t it fascinating to watch a little girl try to keep all those boys in line?! I did my best…
      We’ve recently had issues with Rebekah scratching Gideon when she gets mad at him – she’s a true wildcat! Again, I never had that kind of gumption.

  2. I can attest, this is all true without the slightest exaggeration. And, just so you know, Lesley started it – we were just responding…

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