These may look like an average pair of cowgirl boots to you, but there’s nothing average about them – at least not to me. Let me explain why. There’s something magical about childhood. Ok, there’s lots about childhood that is magical. I guess we all probably already know that, but what I am referring to is how children dare to be themselves, plain and simple. Their confidence hasn’t been clouded with worry about what the world might think about them or how they will be judged because of what they are wearing or how they look. My daughter wears her tutu and sparkle leggings with sneakers and a baseball cap, if you can get her out of three layers of different swimsuits all worn at the same time. As a matter of fact, she’s been seen wearing her swimsuit over her clothes (it’s winter in Wyoming, she has to wear more than a swimsuit and I’ve got bigger fish to fry than fighting with her over bathing suits). She wears her coat upside down, proud as a peacock because she put it on all by herself. What a novel idea – it may not be done perfectly, but she did it, by herself and no one should take the pride that accompanies that accomplishment away from her. My middle son used to wear two different colored crocs every day and a winter stocking cap at the sprinkler park. At two years old he spotted a pair of pink Dora shoes and insisted on them. He adored them. He didn’t care if the majority of the world thought they were “girl” shoes -to him they were Dora shoes. Today he wears “soft pants” just about everyday to school because he loves them and when he can’t decide between pairs of his favorite character socks, he wears one of each. He’s as much of an individual as the next one. My oldest son used to wear his pants backwards because, well I’m not sure. That’s how he put them on and that’s how they were staying. He loved to wear his fireman raincoat, in the sunshine, and would wear shorts year round if his mother would let him. I’d better not forget his pirate costume. His grandma made him a pirate costume for Halloween one year and he wore it every chance he could. It didn’t matter to him whether we were at home or the grocery store. He loved it. They’ve all taken a turn or to wearing some piece of a costume, or a costume in it’s entirety out and about outside of the month of October. They were, and in some ways still are, free to be who they want to be. I realize that if I showed up at the grocery store or soccer field in a Tinker Bell outfit that I would probably be committed. It’s reality and I get it but I think it is kind of sad because on our way to adjusting to that reality many of us lose our confidence to just be us. I did. And I think I am witnessing this transformation as it is happening to my oldest son. And it bugs me. I hate that growing up means we become aware and afraid of what others think and are willing to compromise who we are because we fear rejection. Why are we pushed so hard to be like everyone else? I know that he has to grow up, but I want him, and my other kids, to know how fabulous they are just as they are. I want them to know that if someone doesn’t think they are cool or worthy of friendship because of something like a pair of shoes or a sweatshirt then that person wouldn’t make a very good friend in the first place. It seems that for just about as long as I can remember what I have or have not worn has been influenced by what others might think or not think about me. And while you aren’t going to see me strutting around dressed as Strawberry Shortcake, I am going to make an effort to own my choices – to be a more me version of myself in the hopes that my kids will catch on and keep on keeping with themselves. Which is where these cowgirl boots come in. I’ve been wanting a pair for quite a while now. I’ve seen some women pull off some pretty darn cute outfits with boots but I’ve never thought it was something I was capable of. I didn’t dare even look at them in the store or wouldn’t dream of asking for a pair. But the winds are changing in my world, I don’t know if it stems from watching this transformation starting to take root in my son, or maybe I’m having a crisis of sorts, but something sparked and I actually dared to ask for them for my birthday. The first few times I wore them I felt incredibly self conscious- but I didn’t let that worry win over because I think they are darling – and that’s what matters in the end. I like them. Actually, I love them. I want to be that example. Kids, be you. You will be the most happy version of yourself if you can just dare to be true to you. And that’s what these boots stand for ~why they are more than just a pair of silly old boots.
What inspires you? What moves you to be more, to grow into a better version of yourself?