Last night, Vivi crowed, “Mommy! I laid out my own clothes for tomorrow!” I went into her room to ooh and ahh over her being so responsible…but all she had laid out was a diaphanous sequined sundress and a pair of pink high heels.
“Oh, sweetie. I’m so proud of you for taking care of this. I love the way this dress looks on you. It’s for school, though, not dress up, so you’ll need to wear something under it, like some leggings or shorts.
She thought that was a grand idea. She dug around in the “bottoms” drawer and came up with a pair of old brown yoga pants.
“How about a little jacket for the morning because it might be chilly?” She frowned at the blue butterfly hoodie that I pulled from the closet.
“Can I just wear a shirt under it?”
Sure you can.
“I know you love these pink high heels, but they’re only for dress up, not for school. You won’t be able to run or play or climb on things if you try to wear those.”
She brightened. “I can wear my OTHER pink shoes!”
Of course you can.
So when she emerged in this riotously wonderful ensemble this morning, the only thing I could say was, “You look FANTASTIC!” She smiled and spun a little so that the sundress flared out.
Her sister, lounging on the couch in a cloud of teenage disdain, asked, “Is it Tacky Day?”
Vivi looked at her in confusion and answered, “No, it’s Tuesday.”
Do you let your kids out of the house in their own creations? I do, but I worry. I worry that someone will make fun of her. Someone will break her heart. Someone will think she’s weird. But I shut my mouth because I want her to pay more attention to the bold voice within her than she pays to the timid voices around her. Especially the frightened one in my head that says, “Fit in. Lay low. Don’t attract the attention of the carnivores.”
And wouldn’t you know, Vivi’s schoolwork folder contained an essay that made me think we might be on the right track:
ALL ABOUT ME
I am a book worm.
I am nice to others. My mom
sas I am glameris. I have lots
of talints. I love to play
Dragon City on my sisters ipad.
If you say Im alwasy an arihead,
your rong. I stay as calm as in
egal. Im sometimes loud but
I can be qiet too.
This is the drawing she did to go along with her essay. She drew herself as a lion, surrounded by a mane of “adjtives” that describe her:
She’s glameris and frindly and amaginitiv and talinted. Most days, my only hope is to keep her spirit intact. She’s ALREADY OK.
She’s not wasting time worrying about carnivores because she’s the straight up Queen of the Jungle.
(And if I said that to her, she would correct me to point out that lions do not live in jungles; they live on the grassy savannas of Africa.)