‘What grade is your son in?,’ a mom at the gym asked. ‘My daughter is in 4th,’ I replied.

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I don’t have a girly girl… And that is OK.

“What grade is your son in?,” a mom at the gym asked. “My daughter is in 4th,” I casually replied. <insert uncomfortable apology from stranger> I assured the poor woman there’s no need to feel bad.

It doesn’t bother my daughter. She’s used to it.

Ironically, when this kid was a toddler, she lived in princess costumes, and pink tutus were busting out of every drawer. Even though kicking a ball and swinging from monkey bars were always favorite pastimes, back then, frilly accessories were plentiful, and pants were obsolete. (Flashback to hog-tying “said” toddler to put on pants when temps dropped below 40 degrees)!

Valli Vida Gideons/My Battle Call

Fast forward as she enters tween-hood…

She still likes to over accessorize to the nth-degree… only now in the form of mismatched Star Wars or Harry Potter socks, sports tights and trucker hats, often looking like a cross between a circus performer and skate rat.

It’s not gender plural, or gender fluidity, or gender neutral. My daughter is herself, and for now, prefers black and navy, basketball and Ninja Warrior, and the clothes in the boy’s section at Old Navy.

She likes board shorts. Skull caps. Skateboards.

Valli Vida Gideons/My Battle Call

And, you know what? Who cares?

She’s also compassionate. Intelligent. Empathetic. And kind.

I believe a kid (boy or girl) can be all those things, and possess a variety of attributes. All while wearing pants or bows. Doing ballet or shooting hoops. Or be a combination of all those things and more.

Being authentic is key. And learning it at a young age is golden.

For this kid, it’s not about being a girl. Or boy. It’s viewing life without limits and not falling for stereotypes.

She isn’t a girl wanting to be a boy. She is a girl who wants to be herself.

Valli Vida Gideons/My Battle Call

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Valli Vida Gideons, founder of the blog, My Battle Call, where it originally appeared. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram

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