Thursday, September 13, 2012
Yes, it's true I put you in a mini skirt and leggings for your baby shower before you were a month old.
It's true I handmade the tutu you wore in your 18 month photo shoot.
For every cardigan, scarf, and layering tank I bought myself, I bought you three of each.
For nearly five years, you've been my favorite hobby.
Then out of nowhere, you developed your own sense of style and urgency when it came to how you
dressed, styled your hair, and wore your life. The audacity.
It's a hard thing to die to, the power shift between a power-hungry mother and her only child. I was not ready, am not ready, to let that phase go. I spent last weekend bridal dress shopping with your future Auntie T., and her mother still had opinions on her visions of her firstborn these 25 years later. That's women, I suppose.
I sniffle and wring my hands when in reality, my heart is bursting with pride at your assumed confidence and utterly amazing sense of style.
I absolutely take credit for your four-foot fashion. You're damn right I do.
Every morning when I see my laid out, intended outfit on your chair covered by what you actually picked out after lights out, I sorta smile. My stubborn little mule. My Tiny Tyra Banks. I love it.
Ask your Grandma G., your Great-Grandma S. or any of your aunties- I've always pushed the envelope when it comes to style and self-expression. Many, many holiday mornings I would wake up and hear my own Mama say, 'that's what you're wearing? Your Grandmother will have a fit,' when in reality I knew she'd hug me all the same. I never, ever had fear of not being accepted within my family or village. That, my dear, is an awesome way to grow up. I intend to let you grow up the same exact way.
Last week, before school started you said you wanted feathers in your hair, and asked if I would get some, too. Absolutely, sign me up. I called 17 salons before I found one who still offered the service. And even she told me they no longer were in style. Away we went, you with hot pink and Mama with white and gray. Damned be the trend or lack thereof.
One night this week, Daddy asked you what your friends thought of your feathery flair. You shrugged nonchalantly, saying boys had made fun of it and followed you around saying your feathers were stupid.
Those little @&$!#+[.
That was my honest reaction. Adolescent, no doubt but that was the Mama bear in me. I wanted their names so I could point out their lame VELCO shoes, cowlicky hair, and too-short too-faded carpenter jeans.
I asked you the next morning how you handled the criticism and you said you walked away and didn't listen to what they said.
And that right there, is called winning. Winning at childhood and winning at parenthood.
I have never, ever been prouder.
All I can hope for at this stage in the game is that you always remember to walk away and shut it out. Walk away from the criticism, the hate, the absolute jealousy.
Be your own you.
Pierce your face, listen to obscure music, add purple highlights, wear your Dad's flannels.
Push the envelope like it's your J-O-B because it is.
I have said it before and I'll say it again ... being a girl is hard.
But it kicks some crazy ass.
I found this gem along the way, and choose now to share it with my favorite human.
I'll apologize for the swear words.
Good thing you can't spell yet.
I will always be your biggest champion, and fiercest supporter. Your Dad will too. I swear on pink hair. I will give you one sage piece of advice- it's wiser to ask for forgiveness than permission. It's easier to say, 'I was thinking of getting a tattoo right here ... ' then lift your shirt and show your Mama the actual tattoo. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
But do not ever show up wearing Duke Blue Devil blue, anything hockey-related or with a new Mariah Carey album.
Because baby girl, we don't love you that much.