Joy (and Sequins) to the WorldSeptember 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Posted in Lollipop | 24 Comments
Tags: Challenges, Children, Creativity, Fashion, Growing Up, Imagination, Life, Motherhood, Style
When I woke Lollipop up for preschool this morning, I said one thing to her: “It’s a little chilly outside, so pick out some pants to go with whatever else you choose.”
And I turned her loose in her closet.
She came downstairs in a velvet flower dress with sequin shoulder straps, ruffly white socks with pink flowers on them, a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt, and Hello Kitty slip-ons (the prized find in a box of hand-me-downs we got from a friend this weekend).
Oh, and orange pants. She remembered the pants.
I didn’t even bat an eyelash.
As long as she’s been able to dress herself, she has put together outfits like these. Ensembles, as her favorite fictional friend Fancy Nancy calls them. At first, purely for self-preservation, I didn’t protest or suggest something that, um, actually matched. Tantrum avoided, sanity saved.
Then I started to see the concentration she puts into picking out her clothes, the pride on her face when she is dressed to the nines, the sense of imagination she uses to match color and texture and ladybug patterns.
I still shake my head sometimes. I still wonder how this frill-seeking tutu-phile could possibly be my child. And I still have to remind her that she may not wear her tap shoes to the grocery store … without socks on over them.
But in her choices, I see her streak of confidence and creativity. I see independence and imagination. I see her, just as she is.
And this is the world I want for her — one where she can express herself, just as she is, without being afraid of someone telling her that she is different, that different is bad. The world I want for her accepts her differences. It challenges her to think them through, to mean them. It encourages her to be herself.
I know this world doesn’t exist.
So instead of the world I want for my daughter, this is the daughter I want for our world. I want a daughter who is strong, independent, creative, and comfortable in her own sequins; one who loves and is loved fiercely; one who faces the world, despite its imperfections, and finds joy in it — and in herself.
She’ll take care of the outfit. I hope I can help her take care of the rest.
How do your children express their fledgling personalities? Do they have obsessions, frilly or otherwise? And on a more serious note, what kind of world do you want for them?
“The World I Want for My Children” blog meme is an effort spearheaded by my friend Country-Fried Mama to increase awareness and offer support for the Joyful Heart Foundation. The foundation, started by Law & Order: SVU actress Mariska Hargitay, helps victims of sexual assault mend their minds, bodies, and spirits and reclaim their lives. Please help us get the word out about this important work. What kind of world do you want for your children? Write your post and link up here.