Just to give you some background about myself…no, I’m not a princess.
I come from a family who spent their weekends and summers at the cabin. When all my friends were going to Disneyland and Hawaii, I was in the back of the old Dodge truck headed to Lac La Biche. I was driving a dirt bike by the time I was 8 years old and after a fishing trip, I eagerly helped my Dad clean the fish because I wanted to see if there were any babies inside (insert gross face here). Fast forward to my high school days where math and science were my best subjects, my fashion consisted of a Club Monaco sweatshirt with tight Levi jeans or baggy sweatpants with a Beaver Canoe T-shirt. My hair was in a ponytail 95% of the time because you can’t play volleyball any other way and I didn’t have the faintest clue how to apply makeup (I still don’t even own a lipstick). I graduated University with a science degree and at my ceremony it was probably the first time in 20 years I actually put on a dress.
Today, I strongly support girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and believe the #StrongIsTheNewPretty campaign should be every girl’s slogan. It is still a rare moment you will catch me wearing a dress and every morning I tell myself to sign up for that “learn to apply makeup” class. Now, I also have a 6 year old daughter. A mini-me. A daughter who is often at the receiving end of the comment “you look just like your mom”. Despite our physical resemblance, she is very much her own person.
My daughter wears tutus on her “casual” days. She is a strong believer that one can never wear too many accessories at the same time. An outfit is not an actual outfit if there is no matching headband and something sparkly to go with it. She goes skiing with a skirt under her snow pants and a tiara under her toque. This girl goes camping with a Fairy costume and a Princess dress crammed into her bag. When we are shopping together she wants nothing to do with the cute little yoga pants and matching tank I have picked out and heads straight to the puffiest, glitter dress she can find.
My daughter puts up with me telling her she should be a veterinarian or a marine biologist. She politely says “no thank-you” when I ask her if she wants to try hockey or skateboarding. She desperately wants to take ballet and singing lessons and when I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up… her answer… Mom, I want to be a princess.
Not wearing a dress and makeup did not prevent me from feeling pretty and confident.
Why would a tiara and tutu stop her from feeling strong and independent?
Darn this parenting thing is hard…. I guess the point isn’t to raise mini-me’s but to raise confident, inspired, open-minded little people. No matter how different their passions are from ours.
Looks like ballet is coming my way.
And… when it comes down to it… who wouldn’t want to be a princess?!
“Invest in your kids’ talents. Especially if they are different from your talents” - David Irvine