As we were getting dressed after my daughter’s swimming lesson a few weeks ago, I was hit with an upsetting comment from another woman in the locker room. In passing, she said to me, “Wow, you sure have a firecracker there. You’re going to have your hands full.”
I replied with a laugh as we continued walking through the hall to leave the building. After the encounter, I thought more about what she said and that’s when it hit me.
Yes, my daughter is a firecracker.
Yes, she is stubborn.
Yes, she is defiant at times (many times).
Yes, she is bold and energetic.
Yes, she is loud and universally comfortable with herself.
Yes, she is willing to test the limits and tries to get more out of every situation.
And I smile because I’m truly so glad she is all of these things.
Most days, my toddler really tests my patience and pushes me to the edge. But someday, she won’t be in my care and supervision. Someday, she’ll be on her own, facing life as a woman.
So I am proud she is stubborn, bold, energetic, loud, confident, and a limit pusher.
I know that when I’m not there to protect and guide her, she’ll stand on her own two feet and use the voice and demeanor I allowed her to maintain through life. Yes, I will of course teach her respect, boundaries, and decency. I value the significance of right and wrong and morality.
But never, ever will I try to take away the spark that will ensure her success in this wild world.
So what I should have replied to that woman is, “Yes, my daughter is a firecracker and I am proud of the woman she will become because of it.”
To the moms out there with firecrackers, embrace their spark. Remember even on the hardest of days, their futures will be bright because you allowed their spark to ignite a fire within them that they will carry through life.
And never let anyone make you feel ashamed for raising strong-willed little girls.
Besides, life is way more fun with firecrackers.