I promised myself that this year, Everly would get to choose her own costume. I started asking her in early October what she wanted to be. ” A PRINCESS!” she shouted emphatically. I groaned a little inside. Everly has never seen a princess movie, doesn’t have princess toys, we don’t read princess books. I’ve always known the princess stage is unavoidable at some point, but I was hoping maybe to keep it at bay for another year or two… but somehow, the princess bug has hit our home anyway.
I found myself trying to convince her to be a less princessy sort of princess - “How about a pirate princess?” I asked her. “Pirate princesses have swords! They are tough and brave and ride on big ships!” She was game for about a week until she said, “Mama, I don’t want to be a pirate princess, I want to be a purple princess.”
What was my hang up with princesses anyway? Somewhere along the way, I had grown to associate them with being a diva. With being looks oriented. With needing to be saved or protected. There are plenty of examples of humble, brave princesses out there, but I was stuck on the damsel in distress stereotype.
I spent a week trying to talk her out of it and convince her that there were so many cooler costumes than being a princess. I’m a little embarrassed to even admit that on my blog. I shouldn’t have pushed back for even a second when she made her request, but I found myself doing it anyway.
I came home from work one day and Brent had recorded a commercial on TV. It was a Disney piece about princesses. “I saw this and knew you had to see it,” he said. I watched it and looked at him with tears in my eyes. I realized I’d been projecting my own ideas of what I thought was an appropriate female role model on my daughter.
I ordered a purple princess dress that same afternoon. This past weekend, I spent an evening with my glue gun making her a matching crown and a little apron to go with her dress. My heart burst at how excited she was when she put it all on. She was so in love with it.
This month I changed my stance on princesses. I also learned I’ve still got some growing to do in order to be the most encouraging mama that I can be for my girl. Just like every little girl and grown woman in this world, princesses come in all forms. The one I know personally is 26 pounds of sass and joy. She’s brave and soft and everything good a princess represents.
Long may she reign, indeed.