'I want to wear this.' My five year old diva sat clad in a plaid kilt skirt and a black tank. On her left hand she was waving her silver colored twirly skirt. 'What would be next?' I wondered as I watched my little one jam to a Katy Perry song blaring in the background. She had already started picking out her own clothes. Could cropped tees, colored highlights and tattoos be next? I shuddered...Could 5's be the new teens?
'I am not wearing that tomorrow,' my five year old whined as she stared at her pair of green corduroy pants and matching printed tee that I had neatly laid out in her bed for her to wear to school the next day.
I couldn't understand what was wrong. It was one of her favorite and she had only recently gotten them as a gift. They fit her perfectly and looked great.
'This mommy,' she said waving a silver colored twirly skirt in front of me.
But fall was almost here. The trees had begin to shed and the the temperature had slowly started to drop. I couldn't hear the birds anymore and the sky had turned to a warm golden hue. Even with my sweatshirt on and windows closed shut, I could still feel the chill against my skin. 'It's too cold for that sweetheart,' I replied.
'I want to wear this mommy, ' she continued, her tone low yet firm...lest her 30-something mommy had failed to notice the ongoing trend in her little kindergarten class. 'Everyone is going to wear this and Savannah thinks jeans are only for boys.'
I hadn't missed the changing trends nor failed to keep up with the latest in five year olds haute couture. I was well aware that floral printed sun hats were now replaced by polka-dot fedoras, comfy sketchers by glittery Mary Janes and boot-cut jeans by tutus and twirly skirts. I had seen it everyday; at school, five year old girls' birthday parties and even playgrounds.
Though I was well aware of the peer pressure my little Kindergartener was feeling and that it was highly possible that 5's could after all be the new teens, I wasn't yet ready to let my little curly haired princess turn into some glam doll just because everyone else did so. After all, this was the very same girl, who not long ago had mispronounced butterfly as bullakite and pajama as jampaja and I wasn't ready to say bye to her...not just yet!
So as always, it was time for an important life lesson. To teach her, why it was so special to be different. But I was no preacher. I was a mommy, a story teller and that is what I had...a little story to tell her why it was okay to be different, to stand out from the crowd. A story of a little red flower who didn't want to be different...inspired by a little glass vase of flowers that stood besides my daughter's night lamp.
The little red flower!
Once upon a time, there was a little red flower. And Flora was her name.
She lived in a shimmery, shiny glass vase, besides a little girls bed frame.
The girl loved her very much. And gave her kisses day and night.
She said she looked so special, glowing in the morning light.
She would call her pretty and always say something nice.
It made Flora happy and always made her smile.
But one day, it happened. The little girl was gone...
The little red flower felt so sad, as now she was all alone.
Though there were other flowers, who too lived in her glass room
All yellow dandelions, who had just begin to bloom.
You are not one of us, they said, as we are all the same
You look so different, it's better you go away.
Flora now had no friends and she felt so sad.
Wished she too was yellow, being red was just too bad.
She thought of a plan and wondered what she could do
She could paint herself yellow, in a few strokes, maybe one or even two.
Now she looked no different, they all were now the same
But the others still didn't want to talk, coz now they hated the smell of paint
The little girl came back and saw her red friend gone.
She felt so sad, as that was her special loved one.
There were no more kisses and everything felt so strange.
The poor flower felt so sorry. 'How I wish I had never tried to change.'