She is quietly fierce, intensely independent, and passionate about her beliefs, but a soft-hearted caregiver who is loyal to the end. My girl. My mini-me. Being the youngest of my four kiddos and the only girl has molded this one into a walking contradiction in the best sense. She is extraordinarily observant and quick-witted which is funny and sometimes infuriating at the same time. She is my warrior girl and I will encourage those traits her whole life.
In our world, being a girl has historically encouraged some behaviors that, although pleasant through society’s eyes, are not all the ideals I wish to encourage in her. I don’t necessarily want her to always be pleasant. I don’t want her to always be agreeable. I don’t want her appear as politely agreeable. I don’t want her to feel as if she needs to take care of others all the time.
I know I make it sound like this little 10-year-old princess is a raging maniac with zero manners, but anyone who’s familiar with her knows this is far from the truth. She is super well-behaved about 95 percent of the time and an extremely caring little one who could run the household probably better than me. So why the contradiction?
I want her to know she doesn’t have to be pleasant all the time to everyone she encounters. As we know, there are people out there who don’t deserve the oxygen they waste. I want her to understand she can trust herself and her instincts and be downright rude to an individual if it feels wrong. She can yell at them to leave her alone, or get away if that’s what her gut is telling her. I don’t want her to ever feel like she needs to be polite to anyone and everyone. She gets to stand up for herself and not feel embarrassed for doing so.
I want her to feel empowered to loudly disagree if the need arises. She can also refuse quietly if that works better for her (she can be shy by nature) but I want her to know that she doesn’t have to go along the path of least resistance. I want the strong opinions that she has always held to remain in place without her worrying about offending someone. She has always had a strong personality and I want to inspire her desire to keep it present and at the surface.
I also want her to understand she doesn’t have to take care of everyone all the time. Not that I want to discourage her naturally caring nature, but I think we have the martyr attitude in motherhood especially. As a society, we tend to make women feel less if they don’t put all others before themselves. I want her to know it’s not just OK to take care of herself but an awesome trait to take pride in her well-being.
This next decade of her life is going to be a challenging time to maintain these strong traits she started with. However, my warrior girl is on the right track to not just survive, but thrive. The world better watch out!