My daughter has her first full-length formal gown for Homecoming. She is gorgeous. Empire waist, spaghetti straps, pink underlay with black chiffon star print on top. Twirly... We will braid her hair up with pink star beads. We will get soft makeup jobs and do facials. And even that isn’t quite enough. Today she wants to go to thrift stores, yard sale hopping. She wants “tons of skirts”, she is “in love with dresses”. My days as a Hot Topic Mama appear to be over. She’s now a girlie girl who likes to shop at thrift stores.

Mothers love to dress up their daughters. I enjoy being a girl and having a girl like her. It is symbolic of a deeper bond. The last time I got to do this dress up thing she was 2 years old. I dressed her up more than I did myself. This will be a brief interlude I know. There will be new fashion statements and bigger tugs of separation. Our bond will be expressed in other ways but one of the best things about being a woman is having a daughter, and oh but today is fun.

I'm a momomom-in-law. She comes from a family of 4 women. I never knew her grandmother, who has passed away. They are all widely read, musical, naturally intelligent and lovely. Their house looks like "Little Women" hit by a hurricane and sent forward in time - a controlled chaos of cats, books, bric-a-brac, music and crafts in progress. The twins' upbringing was very sheltered; mass media played little part.

Our nuclear family (despite 2 out of 5 of us being female) is very male dominated. My creativity is expressed in my yard and work. My daughter's is in her art. These are quiet pursuits. Our male contingent is loud and has a love for the cutting edge in electronics as well as massive collections of "antique" computer and car gear, parts and carcasses. Our house looks like a Large-Generic-Electronics-Store-in-a-Box that is no where near ready for the public. The wiring is so complicated it goes through-walls and is still frequently duct-taped to rugs. It goes outside via wall tunnels and up to the roof. There is even an antennae farm on the roof plus wires strung out to my trees. No horizontal surface may be left uncovered. No electrical plug unfilled. Small pockets of Carla and Xie peek out from our bedrooms/bathroom and our fish/plants/cat/hobbies/gliders but we make very little dent in the overriding "Big boys and their toys" life and house theme. We enjoy having our built in geek boys and even loan them out to neighbors and friends but we miss a lighter touch, a conversation not about computers, a more decorative approach.

So now we have these 3 wonderful women in our life. It's such a bonus to have a daughter-in-law plus her twin and mom come as a package. We are neighbors (except My DIL's twin is currently going to school in Australia hence the January wedding - her summer time). We have fun together. We hike, we knit, we cook, we admire babies and we talk. I have more girls to enjoy being a girl with.

Wow, two years can really bring a lot of change. Both my sons have moved out. Major clean ups, monthly dump runs and some minor redecorating has resulted in a slightly more decorative house. Emptied bedrooms have become a hobby room and an office. Things are so quiet most days. Only three of us live at home now while the extended family grows. Bridgett married Luke in they are visiting and will renew their vows here. I like it when they are all here at once to visit...pulling out those table extensions!>

And the ending remains the same, I'm so happy to say. We are female. We like it.