She sticks out like a sore thumb. In a sea of little girls dressed in tutus and princess costumes she is the oldest and tallest one there. She keeps coming back though. She comes back because she feels welcomed and included.
I’ve gone to a lot of these princess events with my princess obsessed daughter. What strikes me each time is the kindness of the princesses. My daughter is quiet and tends to stay away from the the crowd. The princesses however always make a point to interact with her and ask if she would like to join in. They don’t push, they don’t judge, they just accept her for who she is. All of the princesses that we have met, and there have been many, have allowed my daughter to be included in her own way.
What a wonderful world this would be if our society as a whole could learn to embrace every child as a princess does. Oftentimes as parents we feel that our children are not welcome in certain places. And yes you can say they are welcome everywhere but they really aren’t. Inclusion is about being welcome, feeling welcome, and being able to participate.
The first step in making inclusion work is adults making it happen. Yes, that means you and me. We are the business owners, the school staff, the parents, the local community, the elected officials. As a society, as a community, we need to accept, understand and accommodate everyone. With a little hope, faith, pixie dust, and princess understanding we can better the lives of many.