I know it’s not fair that I don’t understand your personal style, comfort, or need to wear whatever it was that I made you change out of this time. Or at least you think I don’t understand, but I do. Oh I do dear daughter, I was a daughter once. The fights I had went something like this:
You are not wearing that out!
What will people think of me if they see you in that?
Are you trying to look like a cheap hooker?
That last one might be a figment of my teenage imagination, I had a tendency for the over dramatic. The thing I remember the most about my moms aversion to whatever my style choice of the moment was, how it reflected on her. What people would think of her.
Daughter I hope when people see you the only think of you.
I want them to see you.
Your shining smile, your love of life. I want them to see how much you love math and being outside. How hard you worked at learning to read and how much you love to draw and paint.
I ask you to change not because I am crippling your style but 99.9% of the time because what you are wearing will not let people, see YOU.
When your shirts are so short or your belly shows they don’t see you, they see your body.
There is a time for that.
One day you will be older and you will want people to notice your body. At eight years old, that time is not now. You are just noticing your body yourself. How your hips move different than your brothers, how you make skirts twirl, and to do cartwheels in the grass. You are learning what your body is and what your body is capable of.
You need to get to know yourself before you introduce it to everyone else.
I ask you to change not because I am mean. Though I know those familiar stomps up the stairs say otherwise. I ask you to change because I love you, I love you so much and I want to protect you. Protect you from the pain and confusion that comes from people noticing your body and not YOU.
So you can stomp up those stairs and you can slam the drawers and walk to school sullen. That’s okay because I know that one day you will look back and know that it was done for love.