Pretty By Nathalie Atienza

I’m having a sick day off, and since my daughter’s classes has yet to start in a coupla weeks, I got to spend the whole day with her. Simple things, like preparing her lunch and milk, drawing with her.. non-strenuous stuff like that.

So she takes a bath, but before that, she put out clothes to wear after. We had a mild disagreement. After one too many episodes of DC Super Hero Girls, she had this idea that she’s a Tiger Warrior. And Tiger Warriors apparently wore outfits like this: 

In the end I capitulated. It’s just one day of many, and she could damn well wear whatever [weird] outfit she wants–with my blessing. Personally, I think it looks ridiculous, but she was so happy in her Tiger Warrior outfit that I didn’t have the heart to tell her so.

Eyes shining, she asked me, “Do I look pretty?” I gave her a smile, asked her right back, “Do you feel pretty?” She answered with an exuberant Yes!

“If you feel pretty, then you are pretty.”

It’s a lesson I want her to learn early. That she doesn’t need validation from others for her to feel great about herself. The world is already full of doom-and-gloom people, and I don’t want to be one more who’ll dull her unique spark with my smothering sense of what I think is right and proper.

Besides, who am I to call out her weird choices when I made more than my share in the first place? I can only let her learn to navigate the world by herself, only shielding her from its ugliness if it’s pointless and won’t serve to teach her a lesson. But bizarre outfits, wanting to climb up our gate? Bring on the laughter and skinned knees; she’ll learn the lessons behind those soon enough–at her own pace.


By Nathalie Atienza

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