Growing Girls: Three Things

Dan Brosgol with his wife and children.

Thanks to another successful mixture of time, biology, and good fortune, we welcomed another baby girl into our family a few weeks ago. For those of you who are counting, that makes five kids—we led off with two boys, and since then have been on a girl binge. 

Now listen, I’m not a sociologist, or an academician, or a statistician when I talk about kids, society, and gender. With that in mind, as I reflect on being a parent to three girls, these are not to be interpreted as blanket statements about boys/girls/gender, but they do reflect my experience.


My five-year old and my 21-month old daughter have a lot in common. They love fuzzy animals and they love shoes. Yes, shoes. I thought I had it bad when the first girl was two years old and would shriek with glee as we pushed her down the shoe aisle at Target. Well, now the second one is doing the same thing, and happily puts on not only all of her shoes, but all of her older sister’s shoes, about twenty times a day. This includes tap shoes. It’s loud.


My boys were lovey as kids. I swear. And they still are, in some fashion, even though they’re 10 and 8. But there is nothing like a snuggly head of girl hair crashing into bed in the morning or flying across the room towards me. Girl snuggles are different than boy snuggles.


Despite the Princess Industrial Complex’s best efforts to Sofia-the-first-ify and pink-ify my life and my girls, I will not be defeated, or stuck in pre-ordained tropes of girl participation. I’m just as interested in seeing ribbons in their hair on the soccer field and softball diamond, and heels kicking behind them as they run with me on trails and on the track.

At the end of the day, though, there’s one thing that is more true than any of my own hopes and dreams— that each of my kids, boys or girls, are going to do end up doing something that may or may not be what I’d like them to do. For now, my wife and I will do our best to give them options and have them try out different things, with the hope that one day they’ll be just as amazing as adults as they are as children.

Topics: Children
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Brosgol, Dan. "Growing Girls: Three Things." 12 June 2014. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on September 24, 2023) <>.

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