“You’re so cute!” “Aren’t you adorable?” “Look at your dress!” “Hi, princess!”
It’s constant. It’s true. My girls are cute, adorable, well-dressed princesses. It’s true. I do my best to make all of those things true. I’m okay with that.
I also do my best to make sure that my girls are smart, brave, funny, clever, curious, caring, and strong. I have told Alma that whenever anyone tells her she’s cute, she should say, “Thanks! I’m strong (or brave, or smart, or adventurous), too!”
I’ve taught her that princesses are brave. I’ll tell her, “Be brave, like a princess!” I know that people will call her a princess, I’m just trying to change what that means to her. (isn’t it odd that we call little girls princesses their whole childhoods, and it seems like a good thing, but then they grow up, and become women, and suddenly being called a princess isn’t a good thing, it means that she’s spoiled or self-centered, or high maintenance…?)
Think about the words that we use to describe little boys and girls. Girls get passive words like cute, sweet, silly, princess. Girls get complemented on their clothes, their hair, their appearance. Now boys. Boys get active words like fast, cool, strong, brave, funny, super-hero. Boys get complimented on their actions, their achievements. I do this, you do this. It’s just the way it is.
My nephew once told my mom that girls are cute, and boys are cool. I decided then, and there, that I would compliment his cute clothes next time I saw him. He was wearing swim shorts, and I said, “Cute shorts!” He looked so confused. He really had no idea what I mean, or how to take what I had said.
I want my girls to be girls, but to not have the feeling that being a girl is somehow less than being a boy. I want their words, their self-image, their opinions to be active, not passive. I want them to be strong.
I want them to be STRONG.
So, that’s my word for 2015. I want them to be strong. I want to be strong.
I want to get in shape, physically. I will focus (ahhhh… focus) on that quite a bit this year. I want to be STRONG. I want to be active, flexible, strong.
But, I also want to have strength other places in my life. I want to have strong relationships – with Jesse, the girls, my friends, my family, God. I want to be strong in my choices, opinions, convictions. I want to be resilient, curious, strong.
I want to be a good role model for my girls. I want them to know that their mommy was a strong woman, inside and out. I want to show them how I can be a princess – a princess who is brave, strong, cute, and their mother.