My daughters accused me of raising them like boys. Accused might not be the right word. "Stated as a fact" might be more accurate, because they were raised as cute-as-buttons kids that they were, with very little thought having gone into what we 'should' be teaching them about life's grand lessons.
They grew up as bright, inquisitive, loving kids. It was only with some shock to their father's rather limited perception of the world that his teenaged daughters began manifesting signs of becoming actual women: they began having periods, wearing bras, experimenting with make-up, and making fun of the way we parents, like, talk.
We played ball and threw frisbees and roughhoused like normal kids like to do with their father. My older daughter was the demure one. She didn't like to roughhouse, but she was adept at every sport she attempted. It was a wondrous thing to watch her think about throwing a frisbee, and then in two or three attempts doing it perfectly. Perfectly. As if she had been flipping discs her entire life.
The younger daughter loved to mix it up with her older sister and with me. She was more physical, in a rambunctious sort of way. Somewhere along the line, she heard that her middle name, Erika, was a feminine version of the name we had intended for her, because in utero a sonogram showed she was a boy. Turns out, she wasn't. She's all girl, every inch, but she heard that she was going to be Erik if she'd been a boy, and this affected her somewhat. She's tall, smart, sassy, very sure of herself. She's completely comfortable around her high school men friends. They are completely in love with her.
In certain contemplative moments when she and I are alone, she says she feels sorry for me. I look surprised... why would she feel sorry for me? "Because you didn't have any sons, dad, and I know you wish you could have had a soccer team full of sons."
I look at her, this gorgeous young woman with the high IQ, captain of her lacrosse team, so fair of face, and I just want to hug her. "Honey, I couldn't have asked for better kids than you and J. You are absolutely everything I could have dreamed of, and more."
She says, "I know, Dad. You always say that. But you still wish you had sons, right?"
Her dad says, "Not any more. I know I'll have sons eventually. When you and your sister marry, I'll have two great sons, so you pick a good one, all right?"