Let them dress up as a fireman for church. Let them wear that tutu to school. Learn to smile as they run down the sidewalk in their spotted rain boots and shorts. Parents, I beg of you, please let them go. Let them be completely and utterly themselves.
You may not see it this way, but they are honoring you when they embrace themselves.
Three mamas come to mind when I think of a child that is purely and unapologetically themselves.
Erica. Jessica. Janet.
These mamas have a little one (or multiple little ones) with BIG ideas. Ideas that fill notebooks, ideas drawn in the sand, ideas told to every stranger who will listen. They have passions and dreams that change daily, but each endeavor is met with as much enthusiasm as the last.
As a parent, you have a huge responsibility to match their excitement. When they run to you with a paper full of crudely drawn up plans to make a catapult to aid in their trash chores… you examine the plans and ask questions with interest, spending a few minutes each day to watch as their notebook grows with dreams.
Likewise, when your little girl is dressed in a princess dress, complete with plastic crown, rain boots, and sparkly gloves… I beg of you, do not be embarrassed by her outfit. When she is dancing through her very soul in the aisle of church, please do not stop her. Her joy and love for the lord is moving so many people and she is bringing smiles to every face.
When your son comes downstairs dressed half fireman, half policeman, with a dragon tail and a sword… you ask where the danger lies and thank him for his valiant service.
Encourage creativity, feed them with positivity and support, so that when this world inevitably tries to squash the sparkle in their eyes, they will lean on you, and know that you have always believed in them.
When they are CEO’s, Soldiers, Dancers, Inventors, Scientists, Adventurers, Authors, and Creators, they will credit you and your steadfast belief that they could be anything. That their dreams were not “silly” or “unattainable”. They will say that their mom was their biggest support and the one who never gave up on them. Let them go for it.