If any of you follow me on Facebook, or if you read this post, you'll know that my three-year-old daughter is a huge fan of dressing up. Not just on Halloween... but almost every day. That girl can dirty some laundry, I tell ya. She almost always dresses herself, and I let her. I pick my battles, and this is not one I'm willing to fight. Whether it's changing her regular clothing four times a day, or dressing up in her favorite costumes, I rarely see her in the same outfit for more than a couple of hours. But seeing her develop her own funky sense of style and her own independence is totally worth all the laundry I have to wash. Recently Lila's most beloved dress is that of Disney's Rapunzel character. She goes everywhere in that purple dress, despite the fact that it's been torn and mended three times. She doesn't mind at all that it's tattered and unraveling. She wears her boots with it, or sometimes flip-flops, and even sparkly pink sequined ballet slippers. In her sweet lisp, she tells me that she wants to grow her hair "down to da grath (grass), like Rapunthel." For now her waist-length hair is worn down, up, braided, pigtailed, or crowned with one of her several various tiaras. She usually wears earrings, necklaces, layers and layers of beads, and often carries a tiny purse with pretend makeup and other preschooler "essentials" tucked inside. And don't forget the shiny plastic cell phone! You never know when the prince may call.
We frequently enter Publix or Target with Lila dressed in full princess attire. We get winks and knowing smiles from all the other moms who've been in our shoes themselves, and she trots around just as proud as a peacock.
She runs around the house in some swimsuit or another, all year round. And, usually, she wears three or four swimsuits in single day's time. It's not uncommon for me to say, "We can't go inside, honey. You're wearing a bathing suit and fairy wings."
She has been known to hit the playground in her tiara and her shiny red patent shoes. And run just as hard as she would if she were wearing tennis shoes.
She wears clip-on sparkly earrings to the doctor's office. Or anywhere else she wants, really.
And ya know something? I love it.
Lila is such a girl's girl. Sparkles and sequins, glitter and garb, dresses and plastic high heels. She revels in it all. We keep her dress-up treasures inside a vintage green Lady Baltimore suitcase that I picked up at a thrift store last year. It's perfect.
I've had these photographs in my head forever, and I plan to continue with a little series of Lila in all her dress-up adventures in the coming weeks. I have lots more images swimming around in my head that I want to realize. So stay tuned.
What DRESS-UP Looks Like...
I always ask my clients what they want to remember about their children, what they want to preserve. I ask them how they want their children to feel when they look back at their family photos years from now. And I want to remember this stage of Lila's life. Her innocence, her free spirit and her feminine ways. Her funky sense of style, her confidence, and her independence. I want her to look back and appreciate all those times she wanted to express herself, and that I let her do it. Times when Mama just shook her head, smiled, and said, "Alright, you can wear the Snow White dress to the store," and she happily chirped, "Yay!" I want her to know how much we love her and cherish the little things that make her so unique, so sweet, and so fun.
I want her to remember her carefree days of dressing up. Forever.
Next, please visit my sweet friend Gina Oh | Arroyo Grande Photographer for her take on our "What ____ Looks Like" project this month. I hope you continue to follow the circle until you come back around to me. There are 11 other extremely talented women who have wonderful stories to share with you. Enjoy the journey!