tales of motherhood

FroufrouI was doing a little surfing, a little reading and a little chuckling today throughout the blogosphere. I just came from Motherhood Uncensored where I read with delight about her Christmas with the little one and how all attempts at keeping her daughter's play time experiences as gender neutral as possible seem to go awry because try as she might, the beautiful girl seems to love most the playskool kitchen and the pink ballet outfit (complete with slippers). I'm not saying this is delightful because I want all little girls to be girly and little boys to be he-man boys. That doesn't sound like me, does it? Easter Bonnet

I'm simply giggling here as I read along because looking at that beautiful child in her ballet pink and reading the story reminds me so much of my own experience raising Kel. How many trucks and tools and dinosaurs and non girly toys did I thrust upon my own little girl in an attempt to raise her as non-pink as possible? For every frilly OshKosh Kiddress gifted her by a well-meaning grandmother or auntie, or lace-trimmed blouse or pink and frou-frou decorated jogging suit, I was at the store finding a Packer shirt to match grandpa's and a pair of denim bib-overalls with a flannel shirt for underneath. She had little hiking boots and for out in the woods or muddy field? Tall mud boots, but no flowery pink ones. Those are silly and girly. These are tall and brown and just like mom's.

But even with all of this gender equity stuff, what did she return to time and again as a little girl? What did she like most? The taffeta and lace and pink and purple. The dolls, the babies, the pretty things that were most girlish. So I'm kind of thinking along those same lines as many of the commenters out there who wonderedFlower Girl about it being hard-wired... genetic... Maybe. Why not? All I know is this... My child is now 18. She is a wonderful person. For as many of those 18-years as possible, I have let her be who it is Favorite Dressshe was meant to be. Perhaps the previous paragraphs didn't sound that way, but while I bought a great variety of things for her to play with and wear, I never forced her one direction or another. (Would you argue this point, Kel?)

She is a unique individual. She has, for the most part, always walked her own path, not doing things simply because she was trying to please one person or another. She doesn't give in to peer pressure and never has. She did eventually pass through her Running Shoes Rule pink and frilly phase. That actually went by the wayside around kindergarten when she discovered it was much easier to keep up with (and pass) her best friend Eric if she wore jogging suits and tennis shoes all of the time. I don't think she put on a dress again for another several years unless some occasion forced it. :)
Artistic Beginnings

And at some point there, art grabbed her. And she sank deep into it. And was swept up in it. Shortly after that, clothing became one more way to express that artistic and fairy at workindividual sense of style. And then she found there were other ways too, outside of the realm of pen (poetry) and charcoal and paint and ink... She could express it through her hair and her makeup and henna and most recently, when she created this tattoo.

So you can't really mold children and expect them to come out in a specific shape or form. Well, not if you want them to be strong individuals when they are adults. I don't believe you can, anyway. Wow. Just a little blog surfing brought all of this about today. And then a little photo album surfing. Ruminating and such.

Hope you're enjoying the new year. I am.

Edited to add: Inspired to create a set in flickr entitled In Style capturing various looks of Kel. I have more albums at home to go through and many archived photos on another hard drive at home to pull some new photos into it. She'll be thrilled. heh.

In my head: Coldplay

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