Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't just break the mold, make a new one

Finding your own path is never easy, but I hope I am helping my girls see that they can make their way through life on their own terms. They don’t need to fit into anyone’s expectations of what they should be or do. If someone tells them that cannot do something, hopefully they will be motivated that much more to pursue their dreams and ambitions whatever they may be. Blah, blah, blah…what mother hasn’t said that right? Well it’s a lofty ambition, but I got some proof the other day that I might actually be succeeding in that goal of mine.  My oldest (by one whole minute!) Gwendolyn has become a tomboy. Her favorite thing in the world is Lightning McQueen. When given the choice she will always choose her lightning sneakers and t-shirt to wear and preferably jeans or red shorts to wear with it. When her sisters play with dolls, she brings her Lightning toys, even pushes them in a baby stroller and on the swings.
This is nothing new; tomboys have been around as long as girly girls, but my girl took it one step further. Hannah, Isabella and Emily were playing princess and all dressed up in their finest. Gowns, shoes, tiaras, jewels and sparkle purses. They decided to have a party in the living room and started gathering stuffed animals to be guests putting them in little chairs. They set the table in that room with fancy plates, cups and some food. Gwendolyn came in and said she wanted to join in the fun. She was promptly told it was for princesses only. The world quickly came to an end at that point. Her cries could be heard all over the house, probably around the neighborhood. I was called to the scene and took her statement. “They won’t let me play unless I am a princess!” She wailed. I tried to calm her down and asked her if she wanted to do something else, no such luck. I asked if she wanted to just put on a princess dress and play. Nada. She walked away and I tried to think of something to make her feel better. 
Princess Lightning
A few minutes later I heard her come into the room and exclaim, “TADA!” There she was Princess Lightning. She was able to join the party, on her terms! Grandma had the idea, so I have to give her credit for that. But I love that she stuck to her resolution that she did not want to just join the crowd. Even though I tried to push her in that direction (bad mommy!) to make her feel better. I learned from her this time. Stick to your guns and don’t let others try to change you. I am proud of her for remaining true to herself. Who knows if I will be able to say this when she is a rebellious teenager, but right now I love it!


Maybe, just maybe I am setting a good example. As I sit here working at 3:30 with the back door open and my kids happily playing in the back yard after school, I know I am doing things on my terms. I can work and be home for my kids. It’s tough, no question, and the pay…well….nothing like when I worked for someone else, but that is no longer my path, and the one I am on now feels just right.