I am a walking contradiction. I was reminded of that this morning--by of all things, the school Halloween parade.
This is the first year my children have not dressed as a theme. I had so many great ideas: smurfs, minions, rocks+scissors+paper, three blind mice, mario+luigi+princess peach. Even when the boys asserted that they really wanted to be Star Wars characters I thought...OK, K can be Princess Leia.
But, she had her heart set on something else. She saw a costume 6 weeks ago that she thought was hysterical...and she couldn't conceive of being anything else. My precious girl wanted to be a man eating shark. It shouldn't have really come as a surprise. Two years ago, as a hamburger, she had the time of her life. Last year, as Tinkerbell, she was bored. She was lost in the crowd.
Two weeks ago when it arrived in the mail she said, "I know it is a boy costume, Mama, but I don't care. It is going to make people laugh."
One of the wonderful things about K is that she is far more into laughter than she is about appearances. She would prefer to be funny than pretty. She is not prissy. She doesn't feel pressure to go with the crowd. She exudes joy--and it makes her beautiful. I honestly adore that about her.
And yet, when she climbed out of the car this morning in a big grey shark costume and walked down the sidewalk next to the princesses, the gorgeous plumed peacock, the sequin clad groovy girls, I got insecure.
She was beaming. You could barely see her face through her huge costume, but the part that peeked out was so pleased with herself and giggling in anticipation of the laughter and joy she hoped to bring.
She wasn't insecure. I was. Anxious thoughts raced through my brain: What if she doesn't get the reaction she intended? What if they all think she is weird instead of funny? Pardon the pun, but what if the world chews her up and spits her out?
If I am honest with myself, my flesh wants her to be both--confident, secure and effortlessly gorgeous and popular. I didn't even fully realize it until today. I thought I was more mature and evolved than I am! Ah, the myth of having it all...
I bit my tongue and let her wear it. Yet, I confess, I had a precious Pottery Barn ladybug costume waiting in the wings, hoping she would change her mind and opt for something 'cute' like the other little girls. As I type, I am ashamed to admit it.
My gracious God reminded me this morning that this is the girl He created. Confident, secure, joyful and fun. Praise Him that she doesn't feel the need to be like everyone else.
I must not spoil that with my hopes and dreams and plans. This is my daughter. She is delightful and I am proud of her.