I was so scared of having a daughter. I’ve blogged about it before. Daughters are scary. I was a hard kid to deal with – I was emotional and destructive and when I was a teenager it was that much worse. Girls go through a lot, and if I couldn’t handle it while I was going through it, how would I handle guiding my kid through it?
When we found out we were having a girl I was scared. All I could think of was all the ways I’m not girly. No way can I teach her to do her hair or put on make-up. Menstruation I could explain, but it’s not something I’ve ever celebrated like July Blume taught me I should.
I can say that I probably pushed my kid towards being a tomboy. I shopped in the boys section, I avoided dresses, I bought the most neutral of neutral toys. I raged against the pinkification of classic toys – who wants pink when you can have a rainbow?
My daughter? She loves dresses. She loves pink. She doesn’t mind get dirty, and she’ll play with cars and trucks and have as much fun as with any other toy, but she is a stereotype and I can’t deny it any more.
Today, this happened:
And, you know what? My world didn’t end.
The fact is, I grew up wearing pink and loving dresses (even wearing skirts under snow pants, which is terribly uncomfortable). I played with dolls – there was even a Barbie in our house, though Jem always won out.
My kid plays with Cabbage Patch Kids just like I did, and she trips over herself and scrapes her knees just like I did. She loves to bake with me, and she runs around the backyard chasing the dog.
A daughter, in the end, is just a kid after all. Even when she asks you to call her Princess.