So, we’re traveling and taking advantage of our stop for a nice dip in the (heated saltwater) pool. The boys were dunking and splashing and screeching (which I prefer to avoid since I am blind as a bat and wear my glasses into the pool), and we girls were hanging in the shallows, enjoying not being in the car for a few hours.
Lauren climbs up on the pool steps, puts her hands behind her back and grabs fast to the handrail. "Mama, go over there and pretend you heard me yelling for help, and then swim over to help me!"
"Why?" I ask. "Are you stuck?"
"Because I’m a princess and my hands are trapped," she said with all seriousness. "I need to be rescued from the bad guys."
After all, that’s what princesses do, right? They get themselves into all kinds of precarious situations due to nefarious bad guys and then require rescuing. Because they can’t do it for themselves. I’m not sure I like where this is going. I picture the next 10 years of her life, calling for rescue when the going gets tough, letting the bad boys lead her astray. Yeah, I don’t think so.
So I told her: "But you forget that you are a strong and smart princess. You don’t need to be rescued by anyone. You can rescue yourself."
She got quiet at that, a pensive look in her eyes. Would she reject the idea that she’s resourceful, strong and creative? Or would she insist she was helpless and in need of rescuing?
Yes, I was probably putting a lot more importance on the exchange than she was at the time, but I was raised to be a strong, independent woman. I stumbled a few times over the years and cried out to be rescued, but for the most part, it’s been my strong resourcefulness that has pulled me through. I want that for her as well.
When she finally spoke, she said, "Just a second, Mama. My laser bracelets have to cut through the handcuffs first!"
Yup, that’s my girl.