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The Dichotomy of Six

2013 June 5

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.41.54 AM

Little D turned six in April.

Up until this point, my little girl has been decidedly “un-girly.” She preferred robots to dolls, blue to pink, and playing soccer with the boys over hairdresser with the girls any day…the only hair style she opted for was a ponytail, after all, what was the point beyond that?

Moms of “girly” girls would tell me they were envious. I was so lucky I could avoid the wrath of the Disney princesses, meltdowns over glitter TOMS, closets bursting at the seams with tutus.

But I would be lying if I didn’t admit there was a small part of me that didn’t occasionally look at the closet of unworn dresses gathering dust and wish for a little more girly in my girl.

Then I would look back at her wide eyes, amazing imagination, elaborate tales of pirates and dragons and that darn ponytail and simply think she was perfect as she was.

Those moms were right to be envious.

Well, now she’s six.

She is being invited to all-girl parties and being left out of the boys’ ones. She is watching me put on my lipstick with a more curious eye. She feels the boys on the schoolyard edging away from her into a circle of boyness that she can’t seem to penetrate, no matter how many dragons she has slayed. She actually dressed up in a tutu (yes, we had a lone one that was gifted to her years ago) while playing in her room the other day.

While she is busy trying to find herself, the world around her is helping her do it in strange ways that she welcomes on some days and rejects on others.

In September, she will be starting at a new school. With new kids. New boys and new girls. Some will race cars and some will play with Barbies. And Little D will probably want to do both. And I just hope with my whole being that she can do that. And feel comfortable and cool and amazing and included, no matter who she is with or what she is doing. And I hope she will make other kids feel the same.

Because I think being six is tougher than I remember. For girls, for boys and maybe most of all…for moms. Those who are envious or not.

13 Responses
  1. erin permalink
    June 5, 2013

    You’re awesome! What a wonderful mom you are=) Great post. Great writing.

    • WWGD permalink*
      June 7, 2013

      Thanks so much, Erin. This comment made my day 🙂

  2. Liz permalink
    June 5, 2013

    Love this article, it reminds me of my own worries and my daughter is just 3. It’s been a least a full year now of ONLY wearing dresses, being concerned that her hair looks ‘funny’, and insisting that princesses only wear dresses and you can only twirl if you’re a princess in a dress…aka, my worst nightmare! I keep reinforcing the idea that princesses can wear pants and run around and get dirty… that boys can have long hair and paint their fingernails too (thank you dear brother for that example), but I’m terrified it’s not enough to set her views and priorities down the rigth path…

    • WWGD permalink*
      June 7, 2013

      Yes, I suspect it’s not easy on the other side, either. So maybe we all just let it go for now and believe they will find their true selves on their own time…all in due time 🙂

  3. liz duncan permalink
    June 5, 2013

    She sounds like my kind of 6 year old girl. Treasure her tom-boy traits because before you know it, she’ll be covered in glitter and makeup from head to toe.

    Also enjoyed your writing on this one, especially!

  4. June 6, 2013

    This warms my heart as I was just like Little D years ago.

    • WWGD permalink*
      June 7, 2013

      Aw…love that. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. Silvia permalink
    June 6, 2013

    Great writing! My daughter about to turn 4 lost her best friend who moved to Switzerland in early fall. He is a little boy.. Since then I definetely see her turn toward more girlie things (like the glitter shoes). In our society instead ogf welcoming boy/girl play, it is right away turn into ‘He is your boy friend or boyfriend (not sure which people really mean, wierd english language?!)’ and I hate that. Why? So at our house, there are no boy friend or girl friend; Everybody is a friend (no gender). Then yesterday, I say this sweet girl at the grocery store probably no older than 8 with huge wedges on and dancing way grown up moves. What’s happening? Can’t we let our children be children and embrace their own identity. I think adults is the cause of all problems as far as embracing diversity.

    • WWGD permalink*
      June 7, 2013

      Totally agree! I witnessed the exact same thing with a little boy and girl the other day whose parents kept talking about them “getting married,” etc. Little D would probably freak out if someone said that to her about her boy friends. They are just friends to her, just like the girls…and her stuffed animals 😉

  6. Lana permalink
    June 6, 2013

    thank-you for this. My daughter is five and the doll house we bought her two years ago is still gathering dust in her playroom. She plays Pokemon cards with the boys in her class while the other girls are playing house and wants to look ‘handsome’ when she gets dressed in the morning. I can’t remember the last time she wore a dress. I sometimes catch myself wondering, “when will she grow out of this?”, but then think to myself, “Why does she have to?”

    • WWGD permalink*
      June 7, 2013

      Totally agree. And the funny part is — when I stopped really thinking about it and just embraced her tomboy ways was right about the time she started to branch out of them. We have far less influence than we’d like to think. Probably a great thing.

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