I want to talk about my daughter for a minute.
Those of you who know her love her fire. You love her spirit. You love her laugh and her smile, her big blue eyes, her love of mud and water. You love her creativity, her love of life. You love her humor.
You love her individuality.
We love her for all of those things and so much more.
Waverly recently cut her hair simply because her hair was getting in eyes and she had grown tired of pushing it back out of her face. I can’t say that I blame her. She wanted to get the rest of her hair cut and waned to go to the barber shop. So off we went.
The barber was hesitant to cut her hair short. “Don’t you want to leave some of it so she will still look like a girl?” She wanted her hair short so that’s what she got.
We went for a walk the other day and met a new neighbor in our travels. “How old are your boys?”
Yesterday, Paul was on a walk with the kids and met yet another neighbor who thought Waverly was a boy. Her granddaughter asked why her hair was so short and why she was wearing a boys shirt.
We’ve been explaining for almost all of her three years on this Earth that Waverly is allowed to choose her own clothing. She may be wearing hand me downs from Gannon. Clothes we received as hand me downs. Clothes that are marketed toward boys. She likes them, most likely for comfort. She also likes dinosaurs and rockets, bugs and trucks. Why wouldn’t she want to wear those things? She is often wearing them with leggings with flowers or polka dots, stripes or hearts. Sometimes she wears a motocross jersey with pink leggings. Something’s she wears Gannon’s old shoes. She wears what she likes to wear. She picked her sweatshirt out of the “boys” section.
She is her own person. We are not here to put out her fire but to embrace her personality. We are here as her guide, not to tell her she can’t wear a shirt because it’s for boys. We are here to tell her she can have her hair however she wants because it is her hair. There are boundaries, of course. But these things don’t matter. Having short hair, wearing clothes to play, they are small things.
I’m getting tired of the questions being asked in front of her. I see confusion on her face. Because she doesn’t think like other people think. She enjoys the things she enjoys.
So let’s stop asking kids stupid questions and just tell them it’s nice to meet them. Ask them what their names are. Care less about what gender they are and more about what their favorite book is. What they like to do. Comment on something, if you must, that is positive, such as, “I have seen you riding your bike and it looks like you have worked really hard.” Or perhaps, “I see you have a dinosaur on your shirt. Do you have a favorite dinosaur?”
She probably won’t answer you but she’s listening. She’s is three. She is aware of what you’re saying. She is quiet but observant. She is intelligent. She wonders why she is different from her brothers often enough on her own.
Today she is wearing pink pants. She likes them because they have pockets, not because they are pink. And she is hanging out with her brother, watching Transformers, and resting after she pushed some trucks around in a circle.