This is my daughter Ainsley. On the weekend she graded to a brown advanced belt. This picture is just before the grading. She has been doing martial arts for three years now. We walked into the studio one day when she was four. On a Saturday morning when she had been playing with my eyeshadow (a nasty shade I couldn’t scrub off my daughter’s face) I asked if we could take a peek at a class. A fabulous instructor asked my then really hyper girl whose special needs and diagnoses had yet to be completely fleshed out if she wanted to see the class and she thrust her right into a lesson. Well that was that. She was hooked and I couldn’t sign her up fast enough. Ainsley has never shown the slightest hint of changing her mind on this one. She is beyond dedicated to going three nights a week and sometimes more.
This picture is special to me because it is her, in her element, being confident as a girl. And as a person.
I hope this is not an elusive moment and I know all kids are different, but from experience, I also know that girls as they get older and as their bodies change and hormones kick in experience a great hit to self esteem and a dip in confidence. Call it a social issue, or a media related issue. I can’t really explain it other than to say that the arc of my older daughter’s confidence hit a peak and then faltered by nine years old. My oldest daughter knew at four and six that she owned the world. She was like that positive little girl in the Maxwell House commercial with the curly hair shouting and singing: “I like my hair. I like my house.”
She was always confident and we used to play this game called: Can a girl be a? My older daughter always started it and she would say:
“Mom, can a girl be a farmer?”
And then came the day when she stopped asking. And my younger daughter, shown here, took up the game. Most days, at seven, she is still confident. I am not so naive as to think her confidence will never be challenged. There are areas of life where everyone’s is. But I hope that when she really needs it, she is able to summon confidence like a blanket and use it to soar.
Wordless Wednesday is a meme hosted by