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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Your Princess Dress

Me: "Addie, what do you want to wear to our family Christmas party?"
Addie: "um.....uh......(Bright smile, as if she just figured out the perfect choice)...My Barbie Princess Dress."
Me: "Your Halloween costume? To a Christmas party?"
Her: (with absolute certainty and a sure nod): "Yep!"

This is what I LOVE about kids- their blatant disregard for expectations and limitations. Other children would probably be dressed in velvet dresses with red satin bows and patent leather shoes. But, to my little girl, none of that mattered, because her Barbie Princess dress should be perfectly fine for the occasion. Never mind the list of why-nots : chilly temperatures and the dress' sleeveless design, the uncomfortable nature of the stiff taffeta, or the fact that no one would truly "get" why she was wearing it at Christmas in the first place, because it's not the socially acceptable or appropriate outfit to wear. To a kid, none of this impacts their decision to just be who they want to be, weird and misunderstood, or not.

So, when do we lose this about ourselves? I admit that I will probably not be wearing a Barbie Princess dress ANYWHERE, for fear that I would be committed to mental hospital. So, I don't mean this literally. What I mean is, when do we lose the sense that each day is what we want to make it? Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our mental conversation becomes something like this:
"I wish I could __________ (start my own business, get healthier, get fitter, learn a new skill, go back to school...)

THEN

The list of why-nots begin and we never follow through.

With the new year approaching, I am going to challenge myself to change my perspective, to get rid of my list of "why-nots" and replace it with my list of "how-I-wills." So, if you see me around town, maybe you'll hear the swish of my proverbial princess dress as I walk by. And, maybe, hopefully, you'll feel inspired to put on your own taffeta and join me...

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