My daughter is 13 and needs a new bed.
My husband suggested a lovely, intricately carved wooden sleigh bed that would make Jordi feel “like a princess.” The frame she picked out is a square, utilitarian metal study loft, with a bunk bed above and a computer desk below. No princess would be caught dead near this thing.
More than once, while furniture shopping, she commented that all the beds she liked seemed to be decorated and marketed for boys with sports-themed bedspreads and posters. Anything with a pink spreads, ruffles, or (the horrors) flowered canopies seemed to repel her like polarized magnets.
A few years ago, Jordi’s dream room had pink walls and butterflies. She briefly flitted through a stage of leopard and zebra print, still distinctly feminine but with an older twist. Now, at 13, after a lifetime of preferring new sandals to new toys and frilly ruffled dresses to pants, she has taken another turn and defines herself solidly as a “tomboy.” Volleyball and science top the hobby list, and blue jeans, tshirts and converse shoes (blue!) are the preferred uniform. Her younger, frillier friends are confused. The other teenagers take it in stride. 13 must be a magic number.
A few years ago, my oldest hit 13 and starting reinventing himself, a shy, self-conscious kid trying on new activities and interests and finally finding his niche in (of all places) musical theatre, where he thrives. It makes me wonder who and where my princess will be when she figures out her adult identity. She also spends a lot of time smiling at a certain young man who is quite eager to smile back. I wonder where he weighs in on tomboys and princesses. It might be a coincidence that he likes science and volleyball, too, but it might not be.
I seem to be frequently in the position of playing catch-up to my children, following 2 steps behind and saying, “but I thought you liked…”
Time to order a bed. My princess needs a place to stash her laptop and science books.