Beautiful Girlhood

A classic that was originally written by M. Hale in the 1800s or 1920s (conflicting information found), updated and expanded by Karen Andreola in 1993 is full of charm and sentiment.

Currently on my nightstand is Beautiful Girlhood, this revised book by Karen Andreola. An easy reader with short chapters geared toward the preteen and teenage girl; I am going through it before handing it over to our oldest daughter.

Written in old-timey thinking of yesteryear, but containing information still very relevant for the young girl today. Sometimes, Old-Fashioned needs to make a comeback.

“Far away there in sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”- Louisa May Alcott

My Papa Allen used to holler at me all of the time to 'act like a lady', 'sit like a lady', and so forth. Being born in 1908 with ancestors from across the pond in England, he was from a time when it was proper to be a lady. I remember rolling my eyes at him on numerous occasions as a preteen and teenager (now regretfully, because he's been gone since 2000 and I miss him so). Now, as a mother of two teenage girls, I am glad he was set on me becoming a lady even though I had and still have a very very strong determined independent 'I-Can-Do-It-Too' streak.

This book, though written in the old-timey thinking of yesteryear, still contains information that is very relevant for the young girl today. Just like any other book by any other author, it has its great parts worth writing down and saving, and it has its parts that are over-lookable; where you think, 'Yeah, right. That's a bit opinionated'.

For the most part, I found it speaking of things that were once and need to be again, in my opinion. Our daughters literally are on a journey toward womanhood and those of us who have already reached that destination know of the trials, successes, joys and sorrows of such. A lot of it we've likely forgotten about along the way, I know I have...

I think we would do well if we would well-equip ourselves to remind ourselves of those times of growing into what we are and teach our daughters the pathway also. It's a hard enough journey and what trip isn't made a bit better with someone who's already been there to help guide the way? I know when I go somewhere I've never been before, I prefer to go with or at least talk to someone who's been there already that can advise me in the good places to go and the parts to stay away from.

Girlhood is a time of making ready. Maturity and independence come later. For a while you must yet be under teachers and guardians who carry the burden and responsibility that would ill-fit your young shoulders. In a few short years, oh! so few, these guardians and burden-lifters will all be taken away, and you will step into the full care and responsibility of womanhood. So laugh and play and rejoice in your youth, dream your glorious day-dreams, sip the honey and nectar from every passing hour: but guard well your feet that they do not slip into one of the snares and pitfalls along the way. Be pure, be true, be sincere, be earnest, and life will bring you peace and happiness.”

I'm just about finished with reading this book and it will be required reading for our two girls. I want them to enjoy their girlhood and coming into womanhood, it's a hard journey, but oh so worth it.

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