Last week, one of our friends gave Zeca a bow tie with a great white shark on it--a simple gift combining two of her favorite things. If anyone has a tie with a great white shark playing the guitar while eating ice cream, let me know because that would be perfect. Think I'm kidding? Her user name for one of her games is SIG--sharks, ice cream, guitars. It's a lifestyle. The day after she got the tie, she wore it to school with a gray hoodie and I asked to take her picture but she said, "No, mom. Wait until I really wear it."
Because she's been teased for dressing like a boy in the past, I worried what the other kids might say so when she got home from school that day, I asked her if anyone had noticed her tie. She smiled and said, "Everyone loved it! All the girls wanted to try it on!" And I was so relieved because these things don't always go the way we would like them to.
Today, she came downstairs in a white oxford shirt, gray skinny jeans and the shark bow tie and told me I could take a picture because this was the "real" outfit. I took a couple of pictures and then wrapped my arms around her. I wanted to hold on for dear life because she is so powerfully herself that I am inspired by her but also worried for her.
But I had to let her go. We always have to let them go eventually.
She then stood in front of the mirror, straightening the tie, smoothing our her jeans, flipping her hair around--obviously making sure everything looked as she thought it should.
And then she danced because she liked what she saw and I stood back and watched, hoping she'll feel that way forever.