She came to me with her head dropped low, in her school uniform navy blues and khakis, her socks rolled down to her ankles like all respectable almost 6 year old girls do.

Lucy- Mom, I have a problem.
Me-You do? Oh please tell me.
Lucy-Well, sometimes when I’m in the bathroom at school, the kids think I am a boy.
Me- Hmmm, does this bother you?
Lucy- Yeah, it kinda does.
Me- Okay, well why do you think they think you are a boy?
Lucy- Maybe because of my short hair?
Me- Gotcha, is that why you want to wear that one dress every single day?
Lucy- Yeah.
Me- How do you feel about your hair?
Lucy- I like it.
Me- Well, there are few things I think we can do.

I instantly felt the dagger of your-kid-is-now-in-the-world and you can’t totally protect her heart, so you have to teach them to find their own. While this is important, it’s the absolute worst in parenting. I suggested that maybe we could get a few more dresses and some very girly rad hair clips to which her face started to brighten up but dresses and clips are only half the solution.

Me- So I can work on those things but you should probably know something…
Lucy- What?
Me- There is one last thing you have to try on, it’s super powerful.
Lucy- WHAT?
Me- Have you ever tried to stand in YOURSELF?
Lucy- Nooooo, how do you do that?
Me- Well, I just sort of learned this trick myself, so I’m still practicing, but you take a big breath, stand real tall and stick out your chest…tell yourself- I LIKE it, all of it, all of myself…and then, you walk away.
You should try it!

She jumped up, stuck her chest out, said the words, and pretended to walk away. We did it together about 3 more times, I found a cute hair clip and we made a date to go shopping and I high fived my parenting self until the next developmental catastrophe- either hers or mine pops up in the next 10 minutes.

I walked into the kitchen to find Jack looking forlorn. Bring it on universe, I got it, I’m on FIRE!

Jack- Mom, it is okay to be a little brown? (my husband Jorge is Latino and deliciously brown!)
Me- Yes! Of course it is, it’s awesome to be brown! Women all over the world are slapping on lotions just to be the color you are, it’s like a bajillion dollar industry! …and on I went for about 5 minutes.

Jack- No mom, my poptart, it’s a little brown here, is that okay?
Me- Oh, yeah, I would totally eat that bad boy…

And on I go, stumbling through the various parenting adventures on standing in yourself and being okay with brown poptarts…