My little girl has these boots. She is three, and so the boots, which are in fact rain boots, are pink polka dot boots. She loves these boots. She insists on wearing these boots every day, when it is raining and when it is sunny. She wears these boots to play, to sleep, on weekends and at daycare. She loves these ridiculous boots, and despite the fact that they come up to her knees, she looks absolute adorable. I mean smile and simply shake your head adorable. She is so insistent about wearing these boots my husband and I joked about hiding them from her.
She has a very slight concept of how adorable she is. When asked to pose for a picture, she will gum it up enough to make me laugh. But for the most part, despite the fact that she has these ridiculous boots on and is consistently looked at, she is not interested in the attention.
That amazes me about my little girl. I have this feeling that she knows that she is adorable, we certainly tell her enough (although I have been trying to remember to tell her how smart she is as well). But that isn’t the driving force in her life. She is not wearing the boots for notoriety, she is wearing those boots because she loves them.
When looking at my children, I often wonder at what point it all goes so differently. When is it that we wear boots because they make our legs look good and not just because they are pink? When is it that we define our driving forces by others and not the simple joy of fun? When is it that our laughter becomes less important than our status?
My three-year old doesn’t care if her friends like those boots. She can’t be bothered with rank, public opinion, or even gossip. She has an evolving self-confidence that is slowly being defined. And while I imagine some of that definition will come from me, at what point does the description from others become the definitive truth?
I suppose like all mothers, I am a little lenient on those boots because there comes a time in our lives when those boots and the wearing of them all day, every day will seem as ridiculous to that little girl as it is to me. I will be sadden to lose the little girl and the open mind she has today. I will be sadden by the loss of a little girl who is driven by her own beat, and her own beliefs. There will be a day when those closest to her will change her; her girlfriends, her teammates, her boyfriends. She will walk not in the boots she so loves but in the fashion dictated by someone else.
So for the time being, I suppose I will simply enjoy those pink, polka dot boots. And more importantly I will find my heart’s joy in her infectious, and goofy smile. What’s more important, that she learns fashion, or that she laughs out loud?