Blog by Raina Cole

“Mom, when I grow up I want to be a princess,” Eliana said to me. After grasping my heart and struggling to breathe, I asked her why she wanted to be a princess. “Because princesses spin around.” “Well, you can spin around and not be a princess. There are so many wonderful things that you can be and STILL be able to spin around,” I replied.

Like many parents I know, I’ve been very deliberate in my actions to steer clear of all things that encouraged princess or diva behavior, so you can imagine why I was so caught off guard by Eliana’s proclamation.

I want my daughter to grow up as an independent woman who will not be waiting for a prince to rescue her or make her life more fulfilled. I want her life to be fulfilled because she has accomplished great things, things that she can be proud of, that are her own.  At first I was devastated, like I had failed miserably already. What kind of mom am I? Then I realized that if I keep my eyes aimed ahead, and stay the course, she will aspire to be so much more than a pretty girl in a dress.

With all of the stuff that I am seeing (and she is no doubt seeing as well), in the media, in school, in books, and in stores, I find myself constantly wondering, “How do I keep her safe from all of this?”

But, one day, after agonizing over this issue, a thought occurred to me: When we shopped for Valentines she selected the dinosaur cards. When we discovered that she had an allergy to bee stings, she wanted to be the one to knock down the hives. When she goes to school she is eager to learn and work in her math book. When we work in the garden, she collects all of the worms.

Eliana is whatever and whoever she wants to be. She is not looking for a prince to rescue her or do anything else for her. In fact she has never even mentioned a prince. Her definition of a princess is not the same as my definition. I am embracing her passions and encouraging new endeavors, and if she wants to spin around… I will help her spin. Bonus points if she wants to spin around while digging worms, chasing bees, and finding dinosaur bones in the clouds, because I am that kind of mom.

Raina Cole is the mom of a seven year old son and a four year old daughter. She is trying to raise healthy children who will grow up to recognize real beauty within themselves and in the world around them. Raina and her family are also learning about various countries around the globe and blogging their virtual world tour at


Part of a blog series for mothers sponsored by MaineGeneral Health