For My Daughter
By Sarah McMane
Never wear only pink when you can strut in crimson red, sweat in heather grey, and shimmer in sky blue, claim the golden sun upon your hair. Colors are for everyone, boys and girls, men and women -- be a verdant garden, the landscape of Versailles, not a pale primrose blindly pushed aside.Never play the princess when you can be the queen: rule the kingdom, swing a scepter, wear a crown of gold. Don’t dance in glass slippers, crystal carving up your toes -- be a barefoot Amazon instead, for those shoes will surely shatter on your feet.
Tramp muddy through the house in a purple tutu and cowboy boots. Have a tea party in your overalls. Build a fort of birch branches, a zoo of Legos, a rocketship of Queen Anne chairs and coverlets, first stop on the moon.Chase green dragons and one-eyed zombies, fierce and fiery toothy monsters, not merely lazy butterflies, sweet and slow on summer days. For you can tame the most brutish beasts with your wily wits and charm, and lizard scales feel just as smooth as gossamer insect wings.
Don a baseball cap, dance with Daddy, paint your toenails, climb a cottonwood. Learn to speak with both your mind and heart. For the ground beneath will hold you, dear -- know that you are free. And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.Dream of dinosaurs and baby dolls, bold brontosaurus and bookish Belle, not Barbie on the runway or Disney damsels in distress -- you are much too strong to play the simpering waif.