My daughter's hair grows in tiny, perfect spirals. Her curls bounce around her ears when she walks. This is the result of a rather ridiculous regimen of shampoo, conditioner, detangling spray and--shamefully--hair cream. Oh and a wet brush. All hail the wet brush. Her hair turns into a puffy cotton ball while she naps so the it has to be resprayed and brushed again (I know you are not supposed to brush curls but only when wet and seriously the wet brush is gentler than a comb on them). Moms of boys stop me at the mall, at the children's museum, at Target, and sigh wistfully. Older girls ask me if I used a curling iron on her hair.
My daughter can walk in high heels. Her walk in heels is more purposeful and careful and, well yes, slower than her regular walk. Her normal walk is like a mouse scurrying on wood floors--well a mouse who stomps. Her high heeled walk is a like a colt headed for the trough.
My mother hexed me--the way that mothers do and your mother probably did too. After one too many shopping trips during the eighties looking for dresses without ruffles or lace or frills she gritted her teeth and spit over her shoulder and cursed me with, "I hope you have the girliest, fluffiest daughter around." She thought that I would be frustrated by a child so different than me, the way I annoyed her.
Instead, at least so far, it doesn't seem to have to be the two extremes. I don't know what made me a tomboy, it isn't as though I am an athlete or anything. I think I was just drawn to the status that being boyish brought me. Girly things made me seem silly. Maybe our views of gender are different now or maybe my daughter is just smarter than I was because to me it seems as though she doesn't have to choose. She wears dresses all the time--but jeans underneath them. Mixes pink with her Gabba Gabba shoes. She plays dress up and space ship and everything in between. She is getting to be exactly the kind of girl that we all should be, the one that does what she wants and is who she is without worrying about what everyone else thinks. Now all I can do is protect her and hold my breath that she gets to stay that way.
And admire her really great hair.