Pretty in pink

By kateandcarla

April 25, 2011

Category: Uncategorized


When I was a little girl, my dad –a 6 foot, 2 inch football-watching former boxer–used to take me shopping for dresses at a store called Chocolate Soup in Tamarac Square. While pink and frilly factored heavily in the selection process, the most critical element was the twirl. And my dad, who was a total guy’s guy with very little prior knowledge about little girls or their wardrobes, always waited patiently while I tried on dress after dress, periodically stepping out of the dressing room for a quick spin.

I was much older before I realized that this wasn’t traditionally a fatherly responsibility; my mom and dad–even in the midst of divorce–did an excellent job of sharing responsibilities and allowing each other to parent according to their strengths. But my mom will be the first to admit that she wasn’t really into fancy frocks; in fact, our first major fight occurred when she tried to coerce me–a three year old who refused to wear “boy clothes”- into putting on a pair of courderoy overalls. Looking back, I really respect that she worked so hard to make sure that, even when I was young, I never felt limited because I was a girl, but I know that my early aversion flat-out refusal to wear pants ran counter to some of her beliefs and ideals about gender stereotypes. So my dad– with his huge hands and great big personality– was often tasked with ponytailing my (very long) hair and buckling my (ultra-shiny patent leather) mary-janes.

 This weekend, while I had my hair cut (for the first time in many, many months!), Dmitri and Lily cruised around the mall in search of a Mortal Kombat game and yet another tub of protein powder from GNC. They returned, however, with a few items that weren’t on his list: little pink jellies and sparkly, zebra-print sunglasses; a tiny pink halter-top and matching white ruffled skirt from Gymboree. And while I have absolutely no intention of ever forcing Lily to wear pastels (or dresses, or little plastic glittery sandals) exclusively, I lovedthat my husband–a former motorcycle-racing adrenaline seeker with no prior knowledge about little girls or their wardrobes–felt just as comfortable choosing an outfit (with accessories!) for our daughter as he did browsing in GameStop. Because even though we don’t know what kind of person Lily is going to grow into, just knowing that she has a dad who’ll meet her wherever she is–a dad like I have– makes me feel a little bit more confident that whoever she becomes will be just fine with us.


3 Responses to “Pretty in pink”

  1. Love it. And should Lily decide SHE would like a pair of 3T purple corduroy overalls, there’s a barely-worn pair in my cedar chest. 😉 Mom

  2. After having two boys, I wanted my daughter to be frilly. I just wanted a girls’ girl so badly. Please don’t ask Beth about her curly perms (she had such straight hair) or frilly dresses I put on her. I think she had two of those perms before she flat out refused. I dressed her like I wanted for as long as I could…..then she went to blue jeans, mesh shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes for several years. Now, at 27 years of age, she still likes her blue jeans–but she’ll be wearing a nice feminine shirt with them. And she really looks sharp in her nice more-tailored styled dresses. No more frills… more lace……no more ruffles…..and certainly no more curly perms. 🙂 I am pretty sure her Dad never took her shopping for anything remotely feminine looking.

    • Kate and I have laughed in recent years that we had “the Hepburns” sense of fashion…I thought Katherine’s trousers and shirts were stellar, and she has been an Audrey classic forever. 😉 Still remember when Beth and Kate were both tiny and you stopped by my folks’ house so we could show them off! C.

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