And it's official.
After much discussion with The Husband and a big nod of excitement from the child, we decided to jump into the Deep End (I'm already there, anyway).
Buttercup, the girl child who has grown up online in pictures and in stories shared because she is part of my own, is now Eliana Mercedes. And Eliana Mercedes is now an official contributor to Holly Fulger's Speaking of Beauty TV site, just like Mama.
I'm excited. So is Eliana. She's already telling people she's a famous writer and had a business meeting with Mama and Miss Holly and the Other Writers on the computer because that's what famous writers do. At least, that is, until bedtime and the babysitter interrupts to get Lil Miss Famous upstairs to settle in for story time and dreams.
I'm also proud. Holly is an amazing woman on a mission very similar to my own. Eliana and I are now part of an incredible team of contributing writers representing every stage from childhood and beyond. Each of us has our own stories to share and our own views on beauty and what it means to us and how that view has been shaped by our experiences and Other People's Opinions.
My kid wears cowboy boots with a princess nightgown, superhero cape, and a tiara to go grocery shopping because she feels like it and couldn't care less if you think she should have gone incognito and dressed it down to blend in. That confidence (and accompanying attitude) is a beautiful (and shoot me now, people, because OHMYGAWD) and incredibly frustrating thing. I've got a fine line to walk when it comes to helping her hold on to this spirit and independence while making sure she grows into an older version of the little person she is now, complete with the flare for the dramatic and the Going Out in Public In a Tutu Because What You Think Has Nothing to Do With How She Feels About Herself thing. Sometimes, that means trying not to lose my shit because my job isn't to break that spirit, but to make sure she grows to celebrate it (even if said spirit sometimes needs a time out so Mama can cry because this is SIX and the idea of hormones and teen years makes me want to stick a straw in a bottle of wine and go to town.)
You can think I'm crazy. And maybe I am. But I'm going to pat myself on the back, take a page from my daughter's unwritten Book of How to Be a BadAss, and feel pretty badass myself for being one half of the parenting superhero team raising the little girl with the unshakable foundation that got her that byline on Speaking of Beauty.
Let the games begin.