As I’m writing this, I’m watching my precocious and brilliant (I’m only slightly biased) six-year-old dance around in her bathing suit, pretending to be a model. What happened to being a princess? I try to keep her away from the shows with the scantily clad girls, but lets face it: they’re everywhere, and even the little girls have an understanding of what society deems “sexy.”
Scares me to death. She’s growing up so quickly, and I want her to stay my little baby. And I certainly don’t want her to think her self-worth and popularity rests on her figure or the way she dresses. But I can’t protect her from friends with older siblings, or the things she’s learning from kids at school.
Soon enough, she’ll hit puberty. And she’s going to be just like me. She’s already an emotional basket case with a stubborn streak that rivals my own. You can imagine the arguments. I’m terrified of her teenage years. My mind is filled the things every parent fears: what if she falls in with the wrong crowd? What if she stops speaking to me? What if she does poorly in school? What if a boy ruins her teenage life? Will I be able to help her? There’s no rulebook for this sort of thing, and I never was much for those, anyway.
All I can do is love her, be there for her. Just like my mother was for me. She was and is my best friend, and because of her support, I stayed a princess longer than a lot of my little girlfriends. I might have been a little naïve, but I was happy with my dolls and pretend classroom, and I was spared a couple of years of angst.
It probably won’t happen, but I pray for the same for Grace. I want her to be a princess a little while longer, before clothes and shoes and popularity become everything.
Raised in southeastern Iowa, Stacy Green cultivated her love of suspense and thrillers watching crime shows with her parents. She’s fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts.
Her debut romantic suspense novel is set in Las Vegas and features a heroine on the edge of disaster, a tormented villain, and the city’s infamous storm drains that house hundreds of homeless.
INTO THE DARK releases from MuseItUp Publishing November 30.
Catch up with Stacy online: Twitter Facebook Blog
I am almost ashamed to admit that there was some level of relief when I learned that I was pregnant with a boy some years ago. Part of me REALLY hoped for a girl – I mean, I adore the relationship I have with my mother, so how great would it be to have a daughter that felt that way about me. But another part of me, a more practical part, looks around at what society tells little girls, so early, and was afraid.
Hugs to you as she gets older. Hopefully, like many girls with great moms, she may argue you with you, but in the long run she’ll appreciate having a mom that loves her enough to argue. 🙂
Raising little girls is terrifying, lovely, exhilarating, and panic-inducing all at once, isn’t it? My little girl is only three, and already she’s noticing a bias against little girls in books. When she asks me why, my heart breaks. I have a son, too, and he’s four. I haven’t yet had to explain to him why someone in a book said, “You throw like a boy!” or “That was pretty good, for a boy!” because those comments are considered compliments and/or are never said. It makes me mad, but then I hope that my daughter will see that it makes me mad, that her father does not think it’s okay to talk about women like that, and some part of her will internalize that message over the others clamoring for her attention. All we can do is our best, and then hope for the best. 🙂