‘What grade is your son in?’ I replied, ‘My daughter is in 4th.’: Mom encourages authenticity, ‘She is a girl who wants to be herself’

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“‘What grade is your son in?,’ a mom at the gym asked. ‘My daughter is in 4th,’ I casually replied. *Insert uncomfortable apology from stranger* I assured the woman that it was OK and not to worry about it.

It didn’t really seem to bother my daughter. She was kind of used to it.

Funnily enough, when she was a toddler, she had lived in princess costumes, and pink tutus were busting out of every drawer. Even though kicking a ball and swinging from monkey bars were always favorite pastimes, back then, frilly accessories were plentiful, and pants were obsolete. (Flashback to hog-tying ‘said’ toddler to put on pants when temps dropped below 40 degrees)!

Fast forward when she was a few years older…

She still liked to accessorize but it transformed into the form of mismatched Star Wars or Harry Potter socks, sports tights and trucker hats, often looking like a cross between a circus performer and skate rat.

She was just being herself, and preferred green and navy over pink and purple, and basketball and Ninja Warrior over ballet and Barbie’s.

She wore board shorts and skull caps. She road skateboards and razors.

And, you know what? I didn’t care.

She was curious. Adventurous. Empathetic. Fierce. And kind.

I believe a kid can be all of those things. They can wear pants or bows, do pirouettes, shoot hoops, or a combination of all those things and more.

Being authentic is key. And learning it at a young age is golden.

Since becoming a teen her style and interests have once again evolved, and changed but one thing has remained the same:

For this kid and others in her generation, it’s not about ‘being’ shoved into a box or defined as being girly or a tomboy.

It’s about viewing life without limits, not falling for stereotypes, and living their truth.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Valli Vida Gideons of My Battle Call, and originally appeared here. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here

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