When my daughter was born 5 and a half years ago, my husband and I did our best to raise her in a gender neutral way. Despite all of that, she is who she is. A princess loving, pink ruffles and bows, dress every day kind of girl. When we pick her clothes out each night for the next day, she’s been known to stand with a finger on her chin, a hand on her hip and squint as if looking at a fine piece of art. “Hmmm, Momma…I don’t know,” she’ll say. “What about the lilac leggings with the cream colored top and the silver glitter skirt?”
Every morning, I get up before my daughter and husband to go to work. I wake up, get ready and am out the door in less than 20 minutes. I do put on clean clothes and brush my teeth, but I rarely invest time in looking very nice. My job doesn’t really require it and I am usually too surly in the morning to bother. But my sweet little shmooshkin will sometimes roll over (because she ends her night in my bed), raise her curly head from the pillow and say “Momma. You look so nice in that red dress. Why don’t you wear a dress today?” When she first started doing this, I would brush her off. Why wear a dress to work? I work in a basement. I had lost my mojo somewhere along the way. But after awhile, I started listening. I started doing my hair. Putting on makeup. Breaking out the kitten heels and the cute cardigans I wore pre-kid. Digging through the jewelry I inherited from my fashionista grandmother. And you know what happened? My co-workers started noticing (“There’s something different about you.” “Yep. I brushed my hair today.”). My husband startednoticing. I started noticing.
And that’s when it hit me. I had finally gotten the honest answer I had been looking for my whole life. It didn’t come in the in the way I thought it would or come from the person I thought it should come from. But I had it. And while I am quite sure that my budding Miranda Presley will someday go through a grunge phase or a goth period, right now…she’s given me a gift that
I’ve wanted for a long, long time.
A fan of long walks on the beach, Jessica is trying every day to be her very best self.
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