Speaking of the girl, I've noticed an exciting new phenomenon with her lately. No, not her failed attempt at forging a signature on a less-than-stellar conduct report. This one is more in the realm of good than evil. It's good versus evil, actually, After two years of wanting to play nothing but "sisters" and "babies," she is now running around the yard like a spy on the run and building rock forts for her and her superhero cohorts.
This shift in her fantasy play brings her to a much more relatable place for me. I know I played my fair share of "school" and my room was a Barbie shrine, but when I think back on the hours spent building treehouses and and defending forts and crafting robots out of appliance boxes, it's those less stereotypically feminine adventures that stand out as the most fun and formative of my childhood. I can't say it was all internally motivated, since I almost always had a male best friend who leaned more toward Star Wars than Strawberry Shortcake. But even when I was playing Little House on the Prairie with my sister and girlfriends, it involved tromping into the woods, making shelters, and chasing off invisible wolves.
So it was with delight, pride and nostalgia that I watched Miss M and her fellows dismantling the rock retaining wall at our local park in order to create a secret lair for their international surveillance operation. I don't expect that she has given up on more "girly" pursuits, and I'm not saying she should, but it warms my heart to see her breaking through the Disney Princess indoctrination and envisioning herself as a daredevil rather than a damsel in distress.