The Tomboy All Grown Up

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Yup, I was a tomboy when I was a girl. In the land of princesses and Barbie dream houses, I was the one playing tether ball and running around the playground. Looking at me now you wouldn’t know it, but I loved playing sports and playing outside…at least until Junior High happened…

I was raised by my father and some may attribute my tomboyishness to that one fact. But the truth is, I never liked girly stuff. I hated wearing dresses and skirts because I couldn’t run around. If I’m going to wear shorts under my dress in order to play on the jungle gym, why can’t I wear just the shorts? I got dirty and messy. Scrapes, bumps, and bruises were just a part of the day. Bike riding, roller skating, and kickball were what made the world go round, and I loved it.

Things that were pink or purple were not allowed in my room. Anything with ribbons, forget it. Someone bought me a Barbie when I was in elementary school; I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with her. So I cut off her hair. I received a Barbie Corvette one year for my birthday and I spent that first week rolling the car down the hallway in our house & watching gleefully as it kept crashing into the wall.

As I grew out of childhood, some of my tomboy tendencies began to fade. Apparently around 13 or so, you are no longer allowed to play sports with boys. You are now supposed to giggle and blush at even the most mundane things that they say. Tetherball gave way to talking on the phone for hours on end. And roller skating was no longer to be done outside but at the local roller rink where you met up with your friends to…yes, that’s right. Giggle and blush at the boys.

Now that I am a mom to a young daughter, I wonder what kinds of things will she be interested in. Dinosaurs or Barbies? Maybe both? Will I be throwing princess-themed birthday parties? I know she’s not even 2 yet but already I see glimpses of a young me. She doesn’t like dolls or stuffed animals. She loves books, building blocks, and puzzles. She hates when you try to put a barrette in her hair and the few times I have tried to put her in a dress, it was a losing battle.

I believe my not-so-girly childhood has served me well in my adult life. I didn’t like the mall then and I don’t like it now. Sure I like nice clothes and what girl doesn’t like the M.A.C. counter, but the thought of setting foot in an actual mall gives me anxiety. Playing outdoor activities has fueled my love of sports and to this day I still watch football and hockey, rooting on my favorite teams. My Hubby often jokes about the fact that when the game is on, we never have to fight over the remote. And playing sports also taught me that sometimes you have to play with people you don’t like. As an adult, this translates into “being a team player”, the cornerstone of many a corporate jargon.

Yes, the tomboy has transitioned to an adult woman. But if you want to play a round of kickball, you just let me know.

**** Sidenote: I wrote this post originally on my old blog 5 years ago. My daughter is now 7 years old and still loves books, building blocks, and puzzles. However, dolls have made their way into the house  😉 Elsa and Anna from the movie Frozen and of course Wonder Woman, because helloooooo, it’s Wonder Woman!!! She likes playing dress-up but if given the option, she would rather play outside instead  🙂

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7 thoughts on “The Tomboy All Grown Up

  1. I was always a combination of girly girl and tomboy. I loved She-ra Princess of Power and My Little Pony, yet also enjoyed getting out fishing and hunting with my dad, and helping out on the farm. When that magic age of 12/13 hit and the boys were off playing football and all of a sudden all of us estrogen laden folk were no longer able to participate, I was utterly confused and heartbroken. But such is life!!
    Fun read. Thanks for posting!

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  2. I thought your daughter was older than 2 : ) Now I get it. Adolescence can be a terrible time for girls! I watched my 3 daughters go through it, and this much I can say: The one who was right into her sport was the one who made it through happiest. Another found her sport a little later on, and as a young adult, it is serving her very well. There is a real correlation between sports and happiness for girls and young women. I’m convinced of that. Some day, I hope that being athletic won’t be associated with being a tomboy. It will be associated with being a girl.

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  3. I was a girly girl, no shock. 😀 I definitely liked and wore dresses, although I mainly lived in jeans and shorts for comfort. Barbie was my queen. My room was pink. And I did dream about being a princess. I am still girlie today, although empowered in a way that I did not understand back then. I love, though, that you used to crash your Barbie corvette into the wall! And I love even more that you celebrate your daughter however she chooses to be!

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