I love this concept. I definitely was concerned when we first found out we were having a girl because I was always a little bit dismissive of the “girly girls” I knew. I love my girly friends, but good lord… play some sports already. I struggled with the whole concept though, because I want my daughter to be who she wants to be and if that involves being a girly girl, so be it… But as Stacy from Life on Three Sides told me, she wants to raise a girl that wants “to wear a dress, but then wears it to play soccer”.
And of course if she wants to wear that dress while curing cancer, or winning a Nobel Prize? Even better.
When we first found out we were having a girl, we were very excited… and then our list of “demands” started flowing… No pink, no bows, no ruffles, no frills, no Barbies, no princesses… We loved the idea of having a girl, but we didn’t want her to be a delicate princess girl, we wanted a rough-and-tumble little ball of girl-awesomeness.
And then she was born. And when you hold the little girl in your arms, you see her a bit differently. She was our sweet little girl, and we didn’t mind as much after all if our girl was in pinks and purples (still no frills or ruffles, though). My desire for rough-and-tumble girl awesomeness was just as strong, but I became a bit less particular about what that awesomeness was wrapped in. Plus, I don’t want to deprive her of all things made for girls; I just don’t want her to think that was all there is for her. So we kept the typical-girl toys to a minimum, and kept her playing with more neutral toys and stuffed animals, and lots of trucks and blocks and stuff.
Now she’s crossing over into becoming two—no longer a baby or a toddler, but a preschooler. We keep trying to follow her passions, without pushing her in one direction or another. She has been in Gymboree classes, ballet classes, has done building classes at home improvement stores, has gone to many activities exploring big trucks and machines, has been camping, and has played with grandma’s blush brush.
She will learn all-too-soon the unfortunate messages that girls are confronted with in life. I want to fill her with such strength, independence, and the belief that she can do anything she wants, that when she starts to face these messages, she will know she can soar above it all, and that for her there are no limits.
It’s interesting the process we go through as parents… what we want for our kids, what we want to change through them about who we are or who we were growing up, and how we can sometimes get stuck on that instead of just helping the little person grow up to be who they want to be.
The last two years have taught me that my daughter will be whoever she was meant to grow up to be. And while I might have my hopes for what that might look like, it is more important that she feel supported and loved for all of her choices, even if (gulp!) that includes frilly pink and princesses sometimes. (But between you and me, if she could keep playing with trucks and mud and stuffed animals and playing superhero, and NEVER ask for a Barbie, I would be SO very happy.)
Stacy writes at Life on Three Sides and is a preschool teacher by day, mama always, and working hard to find a balance to fit in family time, friend time and her time around the firefighter’s schedule, Gymboree, play dates, and the never-ending piles of dishes and laundry. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter– Go Check Her Out!!