One of my favorite pictures of my daughter, Kristin, was taken at her kindergarten Field Day. She was the anchor on a relay and the picture shows her running full-out with people cheering in the background. Nothing could slow her down and she was joyfully and un-self-consciously in her body. That Kristin went into hiding sometime between 8 and 14.
My friend Lisa (at Cheap Therapy Blog) has been writing about The Naked Face Project. One of the women involved, Molly Barker, is the founder of Girls on the Run for girls 8-14. She targets the age when girls begin to think they must fit into what she calls “The Girl Box”.
Molly Barker says “…there once was a 5th grader (or maybe it’s 3rd grade now??) in all of us who, at one point, KNEW that she was strong, perfect and capable of anything.” Girls on the Run is about “making sure we don’t lose this pure essence of our girls”.
“How can I stop the slow hiss of that joy, bliss, and essence escaping from the balloon of her soul??”
I have 2 daughters who are good athletes. They both were competitive swimmers from age 6-16. At some point, they both decided they couldn’t run well. Where did the joyful girl-child go? Into the “Girl Box”, I guess.
Now they each have a daughter. We all agree that girls can wear any color, not just pink. (Pink is the dominant color in anything for girls these days.)
I love watching 2-year-old Adaline run and climb and get sweaty and dirty in the backyard. (We do bathe her and send her home clean.) And Maggie, at 7 weeks, sailed through heart surgery. I call her Baby Badass.
Will these little girls be pushed into the Girl Box? Time will tell.
(PS: Kristin is expecting a boy any day now. Another side will be heard from!)
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”