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Pure Girl

Pure GirlWhen I think of a word to describe me, I don’t know if “tomboy” does an entirely accurate job. I do like sports and am probably more about function than form. I also wear some makeup and care about how I dress (somewhat). But I’m not a fashionista; I don’t have a bag or makeup or shoe obsession. My backpack goes everywhere with me, and when I’m not in the same pair of black work shoes every day I’m in sneakers.  Black tends to go with everything, and if I try hard enough I can make sneakers go with just about everything too.

My daughter is only 21-months-old, and of course she is still forming and changing everyday. One thing though is apparent already: she’s a girly girl from her head to her toes. She loves clothes and often runs her hands across my clothes in the closet shouting, “Wear Mama wear!” She really loves shoes, and anytime she gets a new pair it’s a major cause of celebration. She’s obsessed with brushing her own hair and loves to brush mine. This actually involves an entire process; I must sit a certain way and turn my head just so. Her smile then leaves her face and is replaced by a look of sheer determination as she brushes my hair very purposefully and puts every hair exactly where she thinks it should be — apparently all my hairs have a destination and it is her job to get them there. 

Her favorite brush is a pink one, and she refers to it only as “pink.” I suppose there is nothing significant about that, except that I happen to hate the color pink. Nothing I own has pink in it. Not even a stripe or print. When my husband and I were painting her room we chose lavender, wanting something feminine for her but also wanting to avoid pink. And she does like her room. She likes purple too…just not as much as she likes pink.

I suppose I should have seen this coming. Even as a newborn she was fascinated by watching me put on make up, always gesturing that she wanted some too. I would oblige her, pretending to put on mascara, lipstick and blush. Nothing thrilled her more. She would look up at me triumphantly, so happy when she thought she was wearing makeup too. 

By discovering this trait in her, I am actually faced with a much bigger parenting question, and fairly early on in the process. How do I honor who my daughter is? She’s telling me so clearly, there’s no mistake about it. And though she is but a toddler right now, she is absolutely and entirely her own person already. She has likes and dislikes, views and opinions. STRONG opinions. Like her love of the color pink. And she should be free to love it if that’s her choice. Despite my strong aversion to the color, a favorite color is one of those things in life that’s a personal decision, even at this age.

I’ve heard the saying that children are not of us, they come through us. So while I hate the color pink, it’s her favorite color. Maybe her favorite color will change in the future, I don’t know, that’s up to her. I do know that as she gets bigger it’s quite possible that our differences will grow bigger too. Her opinions will probably grow infinitely more complicated, and be just as strong. Our differing likes and dislikes may even hurt one or both of us as time goes on. But I think if I can remember that she is not “of me,” I’ll come as close as I can to making it alright for both of us. What I wish for most for my daughter is that she grows up to honor herself and be purely who she is…and at this stage, she’s Pure Girl.

Author: Amy

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