Most days, Tigerlily is all about cars, trains, and stir frying at her play kitchen.
Once in a while, she gravitates towards dress-up and puts on her fairy wings. Sometimes she’ll wear a tutu with them and my heart just turns into silly putty. Although I don’t push girly things on her, it is awfully cute seeing her in dresses and hairbows. Even for only a brief moment.
And how brief it is.
Off goes the tutu. Off goes the tights.
Keep the fairy wings. But add on a pair of beat-up jeans. And then swim bottoms over the jeans. Ruffled ones.
Now we’re really ready for adventure.
Nacho Libre meets Tinkerbell.
She flutters around the room and shakes that ruffled bottom in rhythm with the song in her heart. She’s the picture of sugar and spice and all things nice. Then she climbs up on the sofa and leaps onto Momo with a war cry, pinning him down in a headlock. She giggles in delight. Momo shrieks, stunned by the sudden attack.
Momo now thinks fairies are ruthless wrestlers in swim trunks.
I try not to guide Tigerlily towards superficial notions of femininity based on color or toy preferences. Yet, there are days I wonder if I should be encouraging more dresses and frilly things. Sometimes I catch myself worrying more about what the world thinks of her rather than trusting that God has created her with just the right unique combination of traits and interests. For His purposes and for His glory. Not for mine.
She is now two years old. I still can’t believe it.
In these two years, she has already made one thing clear to both Smartypants and I:
She likes who she is.
Moreover, she is forming her own definition of girl. Of what she thinks is beautiful.
I love this about her. I admire her confidence, partly because it doesn’t come so naturally to me. It doesn’t come naturally to Momo either. He is quite the opposite, keenly sensitive to the prospect of failure and often handicapped by his desire to please others. Tigerlily, on the other hand, could care less about pleasing others. Failure and mistakes do not faze her much.
I want to nurture this confidence. I want to build up this confidence of hers to stand all on its own, independent of beauty, brains, or brawn. If your measure of confidence is based on looks or performance, it will be ripped apart the moment it faces the world. Or honest introspection.
But confidence that stands assured, not because of what one can do, but because of knowing one’s worth in despite of what one cannot do…
This is confidence that survives the judgement of the world. Confidence that blossoms even in adversity.
You, my tigerlily, are beautifully, uniquely, and wonderfully made. Made with glorious purpose. Paid for by blood and tears.
You, my tigerlily, are more loved than you can possibly imagine. I don’t even understand it fully myself. But I am still learning about it right along with you.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19