Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Letting My Daughter Be Herself

16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart…20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows [h]shamelessly uncovers himself!”

21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord. 22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.” 2 Samuel 6:16, 20-22  NKJV

David was fearless in many ways. He lived his life in joyful expression to God and didn’t care what anyone thought of him. My daughter, Jaycee, is much like him.

Jaycee loves Beauty and the Beast. She has the cutest accessories, dolls, and room d├ęcor featuring all the lovable characters. For her birthday earlier this year, I excitedly gave my 12-year-old daughter a Belle costume. I knew she would love it, and she did. She immediately put it on and Facetimed family members to show off her dress. 

A few weeks later, Jaycee chose the Belle dress to wear for Sunday morning church. It was a dress after all, and she always wears a dress to church. However, it was March and her Belle dress may seem odd to other church parishioners. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I let her wear the dress. 

On the drive, I admit that I considered how people would react to her. Honestly, I felt a tad embarrassed by her outfit choice and was second guessing myself. Perhaps, it wasn’t socially appropriate, and maybe I should have stopped her. What if other children made fun of her? I let several questions swirl in my head on that drive to church. Meanwhile, Jaycee rode in the passenger seat swaying to the music we were listening to; she was not at all worried about her lovely blue and white dress. She was happy-plain and simple. 
At church, people loved seeing Jaycee dressed as her favorite character. Many knew of her Belle obsession and commented on her beautiful likeness. A few mistook her for Alice in Wonderland, but I corrected them. Jaycee was thrilled to be in the dress. Nothing horrible happened. She was being her true self. Who was I to stop her from being that? I don’t want to dampen her spirit. She has enough people to do that. 

I want Jaycee to be fierce like David, and I surely don’t want to be the soul-crushing Michal in her story. Since that day, Jaycee has worn the dress to doctor's appointments, the grocery store, and other public places occasionally. I let Jaycee be herself. She doesn't care. Why should I? 

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