notes for my daughter – Songbirds

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You were born with a mind like a faiytale forest, filled with every imaginable species, and some even beyond that. A rainbow of feathers, a cacophony of song.

& every day as you grow, we lose a bird or two. Like conservationists, we try to choose what is most important, to focus our limited resources for preservation.
So we protect independence, say, but maybe creativity takes a hit; we nurture self-belief, but something quiet and nameless slips away while our backs are turned.

Now that invasive species called pink has been introduced; we don’t know where it came from, but it’s begun to twist its sticky-sweet tentacles around your mind. Now everything is princesses and pretty and I didn’t want this for you – if only because, before you were so un-self-concious. The delicate eco-system you came with has been polluted, and a little evolution is taking place.

I’m being dramatic, of course; we can’t grow up without losing our childish naiveté, and you’re building brilliant new thoughts and skills in its place. There are worse things than pink; even I came out the other side.
But you came into this world believing anything was possible, and it’s a strange & sad process to watch you wise up.

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More notes for my daughter here, here and here x

  • Utterly beautiful and more than a tiny bit heartbreaking too xx

    • Thank you Kate. Yes, that pretty much describes my feelings on it all! xx

  • Emily Kirton

    Lovely piece. I can relate to this so much, I have a five year old daughter and a nine month old daughter and my five year old loves princesses and pink so much! I tried to resist at first, not allowing pink plastic, dolls and insuring on navy dresses but in the end I caved. I actually think in some ways resisting it makes the pull for them towards the pink path even greater! I just try as hard as I can to praise her personality as much as her looks. It’s a tricky stage to navigate, particularly if you are a navy, grey and white fan like me but I also think there’s something a little upsetting about not letting them choose for themselves particularly when they hit the dressing themselves stage, they are expressing themselves I suppose! I always let her wear what she picks (even if she does look a bit Helena Bonham Carter!) especially at the weekends since she started school! Anyway gosh this is s long reply! I guess what I’m trying to say is… No harm done really, it’s what we say to our girls that counts, how we help them shape their view of the world …all whilst wearing head to toe princess! Xx

    • Yes, I totally agree – it’s such a fine line between allowing and encouraging them with their own tastes and opinions, and guiding them towards things you know as an adult make more sense. You’re right, of course – it’s what we say and show them that makes the real difference, but I suppose I worry because I was so thoroughly hoodwinked myself by the fairytales and the pink and the prettiness, & it still feels like a battle to keep my head clear of it these days. I sort of imagined we would escape this – which is silly of course, because nobody does! x

  • Rachael Smith

    Ah yes pink, it’s starting to lessen now at around 7, other colours get a look in. I’m so unpink myself I’ve no idea where it came from! Enjoy 😉

    • 7?! This does not fill me with optimism and hope! haha! Yes, we don’t really do pink here either, but it seems to creep in regardless. I developing a theory that all kids perhaps like pink innately, but boys are told off for it, whereas girls are encouraged. Could be total nonsense, of course… xx

  • Julia Smith

    Oh pink. Sigh. Luckily my girls aren’t great fans of it either but those delightful nylon type outfits for dressing up in? We have them. Lots of them… Hope she gets that out of her system soon 😂
    Lovely notes x

    • Oh yes, Orla sampled one of those numbers at a kids museum this week and by all accounts refused to leave without it. Ha! I feel like none of these things are all that bad, as an objective interest, but all the social significance that comes along with it is a scary thing to face. Still, it could be worse, right? At least they’re not asking for Bratz dolls…. x

  • rach.

    you are such a wonderful writer. i hope you can see that!

    love the blog!

    i’d love it if you could check out my blog and let me know what you think! 🙂

    love, rach.

    http://www.so–hi.blogspot.com

  • this is beautiful writing Sara, and EE Cummings…love…really enjoy reading your posts, you cover a lot of different topics and go with what you have on your heart, love that about you. thanks for sharing. xx PS. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE VIDEO as well, i was quite obsessed with it and watched it several times hope thats okay 🙂 next time when you’re in london do give a shout also! big hugs xx

  • Charlotte Wise

    ouch. sucker punch post. So beautiful x