I was never a girly-girl growing up. My mom did dress me in dresses and tights, just like all my friends, until I had more of a say in what I wore. Dresses were okay… I didn’t hate them by any means… But they just weren’t practical. As I grew older, mom realized I was more comfortable in jeans and a shirt, so she supported it. She supported me when I decided I wanted to play rugby. She supported me when I took a huge interest in planes. She supported me when I announced I was going to be an engineer. She supported me when I called home (3 provinces away) crying; feeling so lost in a classrooms full of boys (literally – there were only 3 girls!). She pushed me to continue and reminded me that I was meant to be an engineer. She cheered as I walked across the stage to get my degree. She finally exhaled when I received my iron ring. She was not surprised that I had male bridesmaids. I am sure that my mom would have loved a girly-girl. A shopping partner. A clothes sharer. Maybe she would have loved to have someone to have a cup of tea while chit chating about old Mrs. Robertson’s new dye job… But that just wasn’t me, and she was completely okay with it. I think she liked it. I think she likes telling people that I spend my working days conserving masonry on Canada’s Parliament Buildings. I think she is proud that I didn’t follow herd.
There are days when I wish I knew how to do my hair, how to dress fashionably, and how to properly do my makeup – but those thoughts don’t last long. I will be the first to admit that I am not fashionable (at all!) but I am okay with that (it just means that on date nights when I dawn a dress and heels, Scott is even more excited)! I am comfortable in my own shoes. I learned that pretty fast while sitting in a university lecture hall with a 50:3 ratio of boys to girls.
I want Olive to know that she can be whoever she wants to be. I will support her in every decision she makes. When she decides that pants are more her style, I will be okay with it. When she takes an interest in Daddy’s construction company, I will buy her a hard hat. When she decides to be an engineer, I will make sure she is ready for the amount of work, and then I will support her. I do dress her in pink, and dresses, and tights… and pants, and t-shirts and sweaters. Some days they are pink, some days they green, some days they are blue. Some days I spend our entire outing correcting old ladies of Olive’s gender and explaining that blue is totally okay!
Mommas, it is import to encourage your girls to be who they want to be. If they don’t want to grow up to be a princess, that is okay! If they love math and science, be happy that they are beating the odds! If she would rather build a treehouse with Daddy than play with her easy bake oven, so be it! I can only hope that we, as Mom’s, are contributing to help improve the world for our daughters. I can only hope that our every day fight will impact the opportunities that our daughters will have in the workforce. I was lucky enough to have a mom who encouraged me to be who I wanted to be – and so does Olive!
This video has recently been passed around Facebook. I originally saw this product when it was a Kickstarter project, and I am thrilled to see that it has been funded and being produced! I love all that GoldieBlox stands for! Yes, Olive will have her barbies, and kitchen set, and jump ropes, but I can guarantee you that she will also have a tool bench, dump truck and a set of GoldieBlox! Maybe she will grow up and love all things girl, and I will be thrilled for that… But I’m not going to limit her to the pink aisle in the toy store.
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