Sometimes we try to change ourselves to fit in. We conform to what everyone else expects of us. We don't think outside of the box, but try to modify ourselves to fit into it, even if its cramped and we don't have enough leg room.
I can't say I've never done something just because everyone else was doing it. Hello, seventh grade, where I carried a hairpick and CoverGirl compact around in my back pocket for the whole year. I also liked New Kids on the Block just because everyone else did, and all that ever got me was sleeping on NKOTB bed sheets with a Jordan Knight poster above my bed.
Once we grow and discover more about who we are it gets easier to be ourselves. Peer pressure is a distant memory. Wondering about what you will wear to school tomorrow becomes less of a priority. No one tries to convince you to smoke a cigarette, against your better judgment. You can be yourself. Worry free.
On occasion, people have tried to convince Alana to do things their way. Color inside the lines. Copy the picture on the front of the box. Match your clothes to each other. Comb your hair. But that's not what's in the cards for my little freespirit. If she wants to wear pink shorts and a pink shirt, why should anyone stop her? If she wants to color all of the fairies in her coloring book purple, why can't she? Who made the rule that fairies can't be purple? And most importantly, why should she copy the picture on the front of the box? If she is going to be a free and independent thinker, then she should be allowed to make her own choices. Within reason of course.
We should all be encouraged to be ourselves. If Alana wants to wear silver dress shoes and green Saturday socks, then that's her choice. I'm her mommy, not her stylist. If making Lotso and Baby Jesus play together is what makes her happy, then more power to her. Who says they're not friends?
I want my kids to be happy, and I want them to make their own decisions when they grow up, without questioning who they are. Character, creativity and independent thinking are important, so don't try to squash them. So when Alana says she wants to go into the TV to meet Ye-Ye, Ni-Hao Kailan's grandpa, I say Go for it. Let me know how that works out for you.