I love being the mom of little girls. Since I have two of them, I guess that is a good thing! My eldest did indeed need a cast today when we went to see the orthopedist. While there was a moment of disappointment, it was quickly eclipsed by the decision of what color cast to get. In case you haven’t been cast shopping lately, the modern day cast comes in a myriad of bright colors. What some might perceive as merely a medical inconvenience quickly became a fashion opportunity.
“Do I get a cast to match my new outfit for the 6th Grade Graduation or do I get my favorite color? Oh, but today is red, white and blue day at school, so maybe I should get a red or blue cast? For which color cast do I have the most matching outfits?” Because it was indeed Flag Day (hence the red, white and blue theme at school) she was already dressed head (literally, a hat) to toe (literally, the socks) in red, white and blue. She also had all the matching accessories…earrings, bracelets, bandanas, etc. This child can seriously do a theme day! Anyway, after much discussion, she chose a purple cast with the intention of decorating the cast appropriately when she can’t actually wear the matching attire. Here is a picture of today’s outfit…please notice the addition of an actual bracelet on the cast:
The next exciting development came with the realization that we could further decorate her person by having all her friends sign her cast! Before I took her back to school, we went by the house to get her multi-colored selection of Sharpie markers. Of course, she was immediately swamped by her girlfriends when we arrived and the markers were quickly dispensed. I happened to have camera in hand for a different purpose and caught this shot of the festivities:
What is it about us girls that makes us want to decorate ourselves? My youngest was similarly decked out in her red, white and blue today. While I noticed some of the boys in a flag t-shirt, it is not with the same kind of fervor that they accessorize. We had a birthday party for my eldest this past year at a local establishment that offers the girls the opportunity for a full-scale dress-up experience. They do their make-up with lots of glitter, let them choose rock star attire and put their hair in an up-do with even more glitter applied. As her dad watched this process, he just kept shaking his head. He said, “I can see clearly that they are having fun. I just don’t understand why!” I, on the other hand, totally got the appeal and was a little jealous that I couldn’t play as well 🙂
As I said, I love being the mom of little girls. My girls couldn’t be more different. One is definitely more girly-girl…one more of a tomboy. They definitely both have their own individual styles. Yet, they are both all girl. They love to play dress-up, they love to nurture little things, they love to make clothes for their little bears, they love to accessorize. While I know plenty of little boys that enjoy dress-up as well, there is just something different about little boys and little girls. When I was in graduate school, I had an elderly professor who had worked with children throughout her lengthy career. She told us that early in her professional life, she believed in the “nurture” theory of gender differences…the idea that societal influences created the differences we see in the behavior of boys and girls. However, after working with literally thousands of children, she said that she came to believe strongly in “nature” when it came to those same gender differences….boys and girls are just intrinsically different from birth.
Don’t get me wrong…we can’t give up the fight to make sure our girls value their brains and their character more than they value their cute outfits. We have always tried to encourage and validate our girls for who they are rather than how they look. Yet, I have to admit that I am already enjoying doing the “girlfriend” activities with my daughters…painting our nails, shopping for a special outfit and even discussing the fashion choices associated with casts! I love that we have that connection and I hope and pray that I can someday share with them some of the other fabulous things that make being a woman extra special…falling in love with a man who respects and cherishes you, participating with God in the miracle of growing a new life in your body, nursing your newborn child and discovering that you do indeed have what it takes to be somebody’s mom. Even the mom of two, precious little girls!