Ser has written about how Henry has his own distinct taste in clothing, and Hazel is a lot like Henry in this respect. When Emily was little, she generally accepted my choices for her clothes, but further, I tended to view dressing her with the same practicality I use in dressing myself. Matching meant neutrals with bright colors; appropriate clothes for play were overalls and tshirts. Emily either tends to agree with me due to her own native instincts, or I have pushed her into it - I like to think we are just alike.
But Hazel is an Oursbourn, like her paternal grandmother, and clothes which match to her don't follow the rules I know. At first, when she was 2 and insisted on wearing dresses everywhere, I thought, mistakenly, that perhaps Emily was my outdoorsy child. But that was narrow minded of me; Hazel has taught me something different.
Girls who run and get muddy, girls who stomp in puddles at the bus stop, girls who climb and swing on rope swings and do monkey bars: these are not tomboys anymore, as I once happily considered myself. Hazel is a Girl, and she plays Outside. She has taught me something I didn't know about nature and nurture, and about self-expression and identity. Being a girl doesn't mean putting your dresses on the hanger before playing outside.
Dresses, too, are washable.