Today I took my daughter to our local independent toy store, Mr. Fub’s Party . We go there regularly for balloons and sometimes more expensive treats. It’s a great store, and so precious in these days of the mauling malls and Toys-R-Us. Today’s trip was so she could use the coupon they sent for her birthday (10% off any one item). I told her I’d buy whatever she wanted as long as it cost less than $30. (She already has three Groovy Girls but she’d been eyeing a fourth, and I assumed that would be her choice.) Instead, she chose the Melissa and Doug Bride Role Play costume. I walked around the store with her for a few minutes, repeatedly asking, “Are you sure that’s what you want?” and “Don’t you want something more interesting, or something to build?” and while she was tempted by a couple things that I consider infinitely “more interesting” than a white wedding dress costume (fits age 4-6! Start them early!) I decided this dress was okay for several reasons:
1. I wanted to keep my promise to let her choose whatever she wanted.
2. At least this wasn’t another doll for the stable of a million dolls.
3. She loves costumes–loves all things theatrical, not only dressing as a princess. She has four pairs of wings, and she wears them each, depending on what the occasion calls for.
I bought the white wedding dress for her. (With the discount and tax, the total was still under $30.)
I’m comforted by a conversation she and I had afterward we left the shop. I reminded her that brides can wear whatever color they want (and that her mother wore red velvet).
“I know,” she said, “I’ve seen your pictures.”
I named each color in the rainbow of colors from which a bride might choose, including grey and brown and black, and also mentioned stripes and dots.
“I want to wear stripes and dots and ‘giraffe blobs!'” she said.
And I was comforted further by another conversation we had, after she asked what the “he” is called that marries the bride. I reminded her that there might instead be two brides, or two grooms, and that if people choose to get married, they can wear whatever they want. I told her that I know a woman who married another woman and they both wore white wedding dresses, because that’s what they wanted to do.
“I know!” she said, to all of the above, and then decided to marry me instead of the original plan to marry her father.
Oh, that the world of her world will continue to be so open and free, and moreso.