My daughter wears tutus over jeans. When she falls down, she has been known to say, “Ouch! Let’s put on a dress and feel better.” She thinks it is fun to try on sparkly shoes at the mall. She’s worn the same ballerina princess outfit for three days straight.
This was a big fear of mine while pregnant: what if my baby is a girl – the flowery glittery kind? How would I ever do her hair, for example? When I taught kindergarten, my least favorite day was school photo day. My five-year-old girls would arrive fluffed up with pastel dresses and shiny shoes, bows secured in hair swept smoothly back. It was darling until about two minutes into recess time, when they’d run up with dislodged bows in hand and disheveled locks falling in their eyes. I’d stick the bows back in their hair and poke them with my finger (the bows, not the kids), trying hopelessly to reposition them into an approximation of their morning style. My hairstyling failures are immortalized in portrait frames all over the hallways of Houston homes.
I’ve always been a tomboy. I can’t tell you the last time I wore a dress, and I stick with one or two pieces of jewelry. I don’t own makeup, except for a few rarely-used bottles of nail polish. Yet at age two, I found my daughter crouched behind the guest room door, carefully applying a glue stick to her cherub lips.
What surprises me the most is how much I like her girly-girlness. There are so many values and experiences I intentionally model and teach, and she absorbs them – but she is more than her mom’s invention. She is greater than my heart’s best intentions. I pour so much into her, and she is more. She is my big fear realized – a girly girl who wants me to do her hair. And it’s fantastic. She is adventurous and bright and good-hearted. She glitters. She beams. Of course the outside should match the inside.
Bring on the tutus, the ballerina slippers, and, yes, the box full of hair clips and ribbons and bows. My firefighter-fairy is off to the ball, and this tomboy momma has some hairstyling to do.