Dear mother of a tomboy,
I see you there, in the grocery store, with her trailing a few feet behind you. Her straight brown hair touches her shoulders, blue T-shirt, knee-length plaid shorts, and converse sneakers. Her soft blue eyes catch mine. You give her a look as if to say, "Come on, already!" I can tell you're frustrated, because you wish she was just a little different. A little more feminine. You may think she is being defiant by her clothes and lack of makeup and hair products. But she is just being herself. I know, because I am her.
I am the younger sister to a much older brother, the long awaited girl in the family. However, I looked up to my father and brother and wanted to be just like them. So I swore off all things feminine, pink, and seemingly "girly". My mother and I had our fair share of arguments over lace blouses, permed hairstyles, and wearing jeans to church. That side of being a girl never appealed to me. It just didn't. I found my feminine strength on the softball field, scraped knees, and combat boots. I didn't want to be just like the boys. I just wanted to be me. So let me give you some advice from a grown tomboy, one who seemingly has it altogether now.
Let her choose her clothes. As long as it's modest, don't say a word about the constant T-shirts, pony tail, and faded jeans. She is finding her own style and eventually she'll be comfortable in her own skin. Until then, let her find her confidence in her comfort.
Let her play/do whatever sport/activity she chooses. She may want to play lacrosse. Let her. She may want to try out as a kicker for the football team. Let her! You have no idea how much confidence a girl gets through being good at athletics. Even when I had no self-esteem about my looks, I found it on the field. And when she's ready to stand in front of a mirror with a pretty dress on, her confidence from the field will be her foundation.
You may question her sexuality. Don't. She wants to be loved and get married (to a man) someday, but she just wants to be loved for who she is. She may want a low key wedding and refuse to wear a tiara. Please accept that, it will be best for both of you. And don't be surprised when she plans her wedding around the college football schedule (I did).
You may think you failed as a mother because she's a tomboy. You didn't. She is independent and creative, probably just like you. I've realized that although I fought with my mom over not being girly enough, it's because we're both very, very stubborn. I admire her and love her. I am the strong woman I am today because of her. She loves you, promise.
Above all, don't lose hope in her. I have my feminine days when I don makeup and fix my hair because I want to. But for the most part, I'd rather wear jeans and my favorite baseball shirt. She is no less a woman. She'll grow up, go to college and find even more confidence in the classroom than she did on the field, marry some cute engineer who loves her natural style, and have her own daughter one day and once again swear off the "pink explosion" that seems to come with baby girls. She is unique. She is her own. Cherish her.
Grownup tomboy in aisle 3
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.