“Yes! It’s here! This is what I really wanna buy Momma.” My daughter’s high pitched voice echoed through the Target toy department. I stood, gripping the plastic handles of the red cart, waiting to see what had caused this over exaggerated excitement. “Squeak, squeak, squeak,” go her sneakers as she quickly runs across the white linoleum tiles in my direction.
“Look mom!” I see the small cardboard cube clutched in her hands with the words “Magic 8 Ball” printed in large white font across the top. She shakes it. “Magic 8 Ball, will I have a boyfriend?” she yells. A mom casually strolls by with a couple of squealing kids in her cart. Immediately, I’m embarrassed and snatch the box from her hands.
“I can’t believe you want to waste your money on that stupid toy. It’s fake. It doesn’t really tell you the future, so why do you care if you get a boyfriend or not?” My words are harsh. Her little brown eyes look up at me, searching for an answer, “I don’t know Momma. I just wanted to know, but can I still get it?” My comments don’t phase her.
Looking at her, I see how different we are. I was totally not this innocent when I was 9 years old. I was obsessed with Jonathan Taylor Thomas and about any other teen heart throb, so I spent most of my money on lip gloss and Teen Bop magazines. I was also extremely insecure. My daughter is unapologetically who she is and I love and admire that about her. She makes herself known when she enters a room, whereas, I would sit in a corner and watch.
When situations like this arise, I feel myself trying to change her. To make her more like me. Why do I do that? Do I really want that for her? Do I need a “mini me”?
She does things that are out of my comfort zone and that would make me uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean she’s wrong.
I’m wrong. I need to let her be her.
“OK little girl, you can buy it.” I shake the Magic 8 Ball. “Magic 8 Ball, can you save my sanity?” The triangular prism floats around in the liquid, “It is decidedly so.”