Joy (and Sequins) to the World

September 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Posted in Lollipop | 24 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

Divine Design
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.

Extreme Makeover
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.

Project Runway
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.

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24 Comments »

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  1. She definitely needs to go with sequins. There won’t be many times in her life when she’ll get to wear them otherwise. I like it when my son picks out his clothes and dresses himself… not that he has much interest in it, but he mostly likes to dress for “backwards” day–everything on backwards!

  2. “So instead of the world I want for my daughter, this is the daughter I want for our world.”

    How perfect. I love your spin on this meme, Stacia. What a cool daughter you’ve got there!

  3. I need to do this more often. Munchie comes up with outfits like that all the time, but I usually make her tone it down when we leave the property.
    You go Lollipop!!

  4. I am not (yet) raising fashionistas. I think Flora expresses herself through her drawings and words she chooses to write (which are few, but still) and Kate — Kate’s my action girl. She wants to run and jump and yell. Which makes cold rainy days a little tough on us all! And I’m like you: these are the girls I want for the world.

    As to the world I want for them: I know I can’t make it 100% safe or happy or beautiful. But I hope it is, at least, theirs, as they choose to make it. I hope they find love and laughter and joy and good work, and I hope they learn a lot. And I hope they know that I am always here for them (as is their father) to help them, to answer questions, and to always encourage them to move forward.

  5. So great! I wish I was more like your daughter. I have a little sparkle inside me but I’m very shy when it comes to fashion. It’s okay. I’m working on it!

  6. This is fabulous! “Comfortable in her own sequins.” Love it!

    My kids aren’t fledgling any more, but it has been fascinating watching their tastes and styles emerge, as well as their propensity for venturing out (with different tastes, styles, friends, interests, and a constant evolution).

    Good for you not being one of those matchy-matchy moms, insisting her child look a certain way when she’d rather “ensemble” herself. Project Runway watch out! (And let’s hear it for independence and confidence in our little girls.)

  7. I’m still waiting for this stage… : )

    This is a beautiful. So beautiful.

  8. Sounds like she knows what she likes and has her own taste in fashion. She might just grow up to be a designer!

  9. I loved this post. How fantastic that your daughter has a mother who will let her imagination and creativity flourish!

  10. beautiful!!!! as always! I loved that. and I’m still stuck on that first sentence, about how it was cool out and she needed pants. I am jealous!! still blazing here.

  11. Finding joy in life and herself. YES!!! This I want for my kids too. Loved this post Stacia. A reminder of what really matters. Thank you!

  12. A budding Tim Gunn–making it work! When Miss D. dresses herself, I always cringe a little–that girl has no style. But boy, does she love color…all colors, together, in one ensemble.

  13. You’re right, no matter how hard we wish and pray and hope, this world is not going to be ideal. Instead of making our circumstances better, we suit ourselves up to face the challenges of these circumstances. And rise above them.

    I love your version of this carnival. And by the way, I hope I will be as easy-going as you when Little Miss starts to pick her own outfits (actually she already has). The funny thing is, I think I’ll be fine. It’s her dad I’m worried about. He’s more concerned about how she looks in public than I am! (What a weirdo, I know).

  14. Stacia, my daughter loves to pick out her clothes and often times I find myself telling her she can’t wear certain stuff. Your post reminds me that I need to lighten up about this subject and let her harness and cultivate her imagination. Thanks for the reminder.

  15. Thank you, Stacia! Thank you for supporting the important work of this organization, and thank you for introducing the word “tutu-phile” into my vocabulary. 😀

  16. Oooh, my daughter is so jealous of your daughter right now. I can’t tell you how many times she descends the stairs in 15 layers of inappropriate clothing with a swimsuit on top of it all.

    But you’re right. The independence, creativity, and individuality they are displaying is a prized treasure in this world of conformity and fear-of-difference. And our world needs these girls.

  17. Sometimes Corinne surprises me in her choices. She concocts outfits that are way more fashion-forward than I could ever imagine. So, in all honesty, most of the random combos are pretty damn cute!

    I love kids that dress themselves. I think it encourages a sense of self and gives them a little control in a world where they have very little say in their day to day lives.

  18. You are such a good mother! I wish I could be more like you!

    Even if the world is not be an ideal place, you are making your home and your childrens’ lives exactly as you would like. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean so much.

  19. I love the thought of concentrating on the daughter you want for this world. She is a great improvement on it already. A good reminder that I could loosen up on the clothing choices sometimes, and it will be okay.

  20. Haha, comfortable in her own sequins. I love it. If I ever have a daughter I envision her in that exact same outfit…with socks on over her tap shoes. Spectacular.

  21. I’ve been enjoying all of the Joyful Hearts essays I’ve come across. There is so much fierce love and acceptance for our children in these and others’ words…if only we could harness it for those who don’t have enough to give.

    Oh, and the visual of your daughter…:) Finger snaps for that girl’s sense of STYLE! Woot!

  22. Mr3 never leaves the house without an accessory – police hat, fireman hat, Buzz Lightyear wings. I’m so used to it, I don’t even notice it any more, but we do get some looks when we go out. I say there’s such a short period of time when you can get away with stuff like that, we should let them go for it. And hope that they grow up in a world where being yourself is seen as a plus.

    Great post. Great cause. Am sorry I didn’t get myself organised in time to join in.

  23. giggle
    really makes you wonder about their style choices. My daughter is the same. she wears some outfits and I usually allow them.
    The colours usually match because her mother has maybe three options in the closet those being pink, yellow and maybe purple LOL. What can I say she looks good in pink LOL

  24. I dressed myself as a young girl and my parents dubbed me “the nursery school harlot.” I turned out fine, perhaps even more than fine!

    “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.” Exactly. Wow. You blew me away right here. Thank you.


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