My daughter unapologetically loves dinosaurs. She wears t-shirts made for boys because Spider-Man and Batman aren't found in the little girls section. She builds with blocks. She has a set of tools and enjoys spending time with her dad in the garage. At the same time, she takes care of her baby dolls, feels pretty in dresses, makes a mean dirt cake, and gives me kisses and I love you's.
Ellie is who she is. She likes what she wants, plays with what she wants, and does what she wants. She's a wild child with a kind heart.
The other night, while cuddling in her bed, she said to me, "Mom, I like you." "Well, thanks Elle. I like you too," I responded. "And I like Daddy. And I like Emma." She continued, "And I like myself."
I'm pretty sure I just won parenting. I don't know many adults who can say with as much finality as she did that they like themselves. But now what do I do? How do I make sure she continues to be herself, to keep being awesome and liking who she is?
And then I got scared. When will it change for her? Is there an age? A social milestone? What is the catalyst that will make her feel less than perfect? A movie? A magazine ad? Another kid?
Will she feel pressured to drop her love of superheroes and dinosaurs? To wear pink instead of blue? I don't want her to care about those things for as long as possible. I want her to dress how she wants to, like what she wants to, and be who she wants to be.
Dance all crazy, fix cars with her dad, cuddle with her mom, play with her dinosaurs, doctor her baby dolls, strum her guitar and jam on her harmonica.
Don't ever change. Be just who you are.