The result is that Little L sometimes prefers things that make me squeamish or that completely baffles my fairly girly mind. For instance, she is drawn to toy dinosaurs and worms and spiders at our local craft store. Often, when she is afforded a toy selection to purchase, she will want to buy some of these little plastic toys instead of a fairy wand or tiara or cute cuddly animal.
When we play "pretend," she likes to imagine that she's a dinosaur, a bear, a puppy, a superhero or a doctor. She has never (to my knowledge) imagined herself as a princess or a fairy, and only occasionally does she don her tutu to become a ballerina. Our make-believe adventures involve fishing or riding a magic stroller or rescuing each other from polar bear attacks.
|Why yes, that would be *the* yellow-jacket in question|
|Wanting to play with the Transformer on our balcony at 5:00 am|
While all of this puts me entirely out of my comfort zone (particularly the bugs), I'm actually pretty glad that she is not limiting herself to any interests or hobbies that society typically assigns exclusively to one gender. I like that she has no fear of the gross slimy things, and that she doesn't see them as dirty or disgusting. It makes me proud to watch her pursue whatever she fancies, without inhibition or the embarrassment that comes from feeling like she is doing something strange or socially unacceptable.
And so my hope is that, once Little L begins school, she does not lose any of these interests as a result of social pressure or a desire to "fit in" or belong. I hope that she doesn't turn into a timid little girly-girl who balks at getting her hands dirty. I hope that she is doesn't ever allow herself to be pigeon-holed, or defined, or limited, just because she is a girl. May she always be brave enough to define for herself what this little girl is made of.