Watching my baby grow up has been an amazing experience. When she first laughed, giggled, crawled, said her first word and took her first steps. There is an incomparable joy a parent feels when their child hits a milestone. Why? Goals and expectations. It’s never ending. As soon as your child accomplishes one goal it’s off to the next.
Kara learns something new every day. Sometimes before I think she can actually do some of the amazing things she does. At 17 months now, she can feed herself with a fork, has a vocabulary of at least 30 words and understands almost everything I say. I’m sure every parent thinks their child is a prodigy, but I can’t help it!
So why don’t I call my daughter “Princess”? Expectations. What do you think of when you hear the word “Princess”? Pretty dresses? Long braided hair? A girl who is always waiting for a Prince to save her? Now what would happen if I called her Dr. Kara? Would that want her to help make sick people better? And Scientist Kara? Maybe she would be interested in finding the cure for cancer? Or maybe Kara the Engineer? She could design something that would benefit mankind? All these words carry expectations beyond what a woman looks like or how she dresses, yet “Princess” is what everyone wants to call my daughter?
I refuse to limit what my daughter can become. I want her imagination to take her as far as she can go. I want her skills to determine what she can accomplish. And as bad as I want to decide for her? She has to be the one to make the decision. It’s her life and I want her to be happy. Whether that means being a doctor, an engineer, or something else (…even a princess!); it’s not the final goal. It’s just another milestone in life.