05/06/2015 06:28 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I'm Raising A Princess

It's always interesting to me, and catches me somewhat off-guard, when I discover what perfect strangers will comment upon when it comes to other people's lives.

I get loads of comments on our family's size. I'm used to that. I've had people assume Diva is either Boo's mom or Cubby's mom (depending on who's with us), or both. I'm not really used to that one, and neither is she. She's demanding a shirt with, "NOT THE MOM!" on it for when she's out in public with us. Or to never be in public with us again.

Anyways. Family size, homeschooling, who's related to who and how... these things happen.

But... comments about how my kid is dressed still catch me off-guard. Mainly, I suppose, because unless a child is ill-dressed for the weather, it doesn't dawn on me to have an opinion about another child's attire.

Apparently, that's just me.

See, Princess is a Princess. Not just in attitude, but in what she prefers to wear. She loves girly, frilly, be-ribboned, sparkly, flouncy, poofy dresses. The more frou frou, the better for her. That's how she rolls. Or prances, dances and skips about.

And I'm totally good with that.

So, being in the running for the Mom of the World title (among my own children), I indulge her, because, hey, why not?

I go to thrift stores and consignment stores. I pick up old flower girl dresses, Hallowe'en costumes and similar for far less than the average outfit at a store would cost.

And, I let her wear them. In public.

At the grocery store, the mall, at the playground. If she wants to go digging in the mud with her princess dress on, understanding that if the dress gets dirty, we may not be able to clean it so she can't wear it again, then have at it.

I have the same attitude about her Christmas and Easter dresses.

Maybe it's because I tend to buy such things on sale, and never spend a fortune on any of them.

Maybe it's because I'm slightly... quirky.

But, I think the real reason is that I can remember having such pretty dresses in my closet and never being allowed to wear them. And then, when the High State Occasion finally came when it was deemed acceptable to wear it, I was allowed to wear the dress once... if I hadn't actually outgrown it first. So many dresses were gifts, and I outgrew them before I was ever allowed to wear them. What's the point of that?

For my girl, I'd rather she outwore them before she out grew them. She's the youngest girl, after all, so there's nobody to pass her dresses down to, and I buy them second-hand, so there's very little investment in them to start with.

So, the next time you see a girl in a frilly, frou frou, poofy dress in pubic, instead of commenting about her being spoiled, how you can't understand why her mother would allow her to wear such things, how about just smiling at the obvious delight the child has in her dress? Remember how fleeting childhood is. There will come a day, soon enough, where she dresses in normal, every day clothes every time she goes out, and quits dressing up at home. Honestly, the thought gives me a lump in my throat, and I tear up a bit.

Because I'm raising a Princess. And loving every moment of it.


Photo by Melissa Charles

This post was originally published on Not A Stepford Life