Princesses on the Floor

Topic : Daily Glimpses

My son pours out the princesses from the box
and they fall onto the bed.

White, thin, with long hair.

What illusion are we selling our children?

Showing my daughter that thin and white is the
goal.

My son, that these women are real and to be
desired.

I’m reading my daughter a Disney princess book,
Rapunzel is up in the tower watching it snow.
Her friend shows up and wants her to go outside
and play.

“You know I can’t go outside, let’s find a way to
bring the snow in.”

No reason or questioning of why she can’t leave,
only acceptance of how her life is.

My  mind screams, “What the fuck? Go outside!
Get out of there!”

I didn’t get Barbies when I was growing up
but I wanted them,
so I could be like the other kids.

I buy my daughter princess shirts and costumes,
omitting the shit story lines
Focusing on her game of “pretend family”
she’s the mom and I’m the baby sister.
We fling pull-ups around the living room.

At Chick-fil-A, a woman comes over
“Your children are so cute,” she says
I say “thank you” and we keep going
but today my daughter asks,
“Why do people say that?”
“It’s to be nice, honey. To give you a compliment.”
She is silent.

For her birthday she gets curls put in her long
blonde hair
rainbow colors painted on them with hair chalk.
“Your hair looks beautiful, I love it”
As salon clients gush over the locks and I try to
take pictures, she gets quiet.

I can feel her energy shift, she’s uncomfortable
Our usual comments are about how strong she is, how creative her ideas are
or what a fun outfit she has picked.
I stop talking about her hair and she relaxes.
As we leave the salon she twirls down the street

What world am I giving her?
Many times this question overwhelms me
then I remember it’s simple words.
Noticing her movements, art, thoughts.

“Wait for me Junie”
I follow, her twirls leading the way.

Emma
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