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As a little girl, I remember the days spent playing in the backyard and the many evenings spent playing with my Barbie collection until dinner time. I would brush and braid their hair until it was just right. I may have driven my parents a bit crazy with all of the clothes and shoes that I just knew I needed to complete my collection. 

On a typical Saturday, after completing my chores, I would love to go outside to the big fig trees in the backyard. I would take some of my mom's quilts and begin to drape them over the branches to make a little house. I would gather some branches with bigger leaves and tie them together to make a homemade broom and sweep the dirt until it was nice and smooth. 

My friends and I would play out there for hours, maybe having a tea party or just giggling about silly things. Sometimes we would pretend we were different people in another place. Other times we would aggravate the neighbor. I think our continuous giggling might have disturbed her quiet Saturday plans. No matter what, we loved the little house we made. 

I loved the beautiful dresses that I could get dressed up in for church on Sunday mornings and the pretty bows and ribbons that my mom would get to match them perfectly. The sound of the click/clack from my Sunday shoes on the tile floor was my favorite sound other than the Southern gospel music playing while getting ready. 

Being a little girl was so much fun. I loved listening to Elvis with my mom and dancing in the living room. I loved cooking with my grandmother and playing dress-up with my granny. As I got older, I began to realize that all of the things that I loved doing came naturally to me. I loved holding the little babies, and I didn't mind taking care of the home and cooking. I enjoyed all of it and knew in my heart that I wanted to be a mom and have lots of little children.

Now, as an adult, I see things changing. The nuclear family seems to be a thing of the past, and our children whose natural instincts are to be just what they were born to be, are daily influenced by the constantly created confusion. I, myself, walk into the store now and can't distinguish the women's section from the men's. Everything looks the same. 

The natural yearning to feel the joy of being a wife and mother has now been replaced with the modern-day feminism that would tell you those things are wrong and that what you really want is to be single and have a better career. It saddens me that so many have given in to that, and now the daily struggle with sadness or lack of true purpose never stops. 

I would give anything to go back to being that little girl. Though time travel isn't an option, I can encourage those who have come after me to remember that their God-given natural instincts are not wrong. Don't be fooled by this world's constant attempt to confuse us. Don't become complacent and silent and allow this confusion to constantly be pushed into our faces. Remember that being a woman, naturally, is a beautiful thing. That's just the way God intended it to be. 

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email ashley.carter@1819news.com.

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