Cannonball! A new line for boys and girls.

Our new logo!

A few weeks ago I announced a big change for my little company as we expanded to include boys in our work. So much of childhood has boys and girls separated for reasons I cannot understand. I want my company to reflect childhood as it ought to be, not how it is currently marketed and depicted in the media.

In my mind, childhood is full of awesome, colors are for everyone, children are whimsical and curious, and children redefine the stereotypes that exist around them.

My company is Childhood Inspired. I wanted and needed to create a new line of designs that showed boys and girls playing together. I cannot recall seeing a shirt like that anywhere, as the sexes are so segregated in the current marketplace. I wanted to give families, but most importantly children, happy and joyful designs that show kids being kids.

I want my son and daugther growing up playing and making memories with a great variety of friends. I’m really excited to introduce Cannonball!, our new line for boys AND girls. This line is “childhood inspired”, and was created from suggestions from our Facebook and Twitter communities.

I decided to call the line “Cannonball!” because when I think back to my own childhood and that delicious, excited feeling kids get in their tummies while completely lost in play, I think back to doing cannonball after cannonball off the side of the pool. And sailboat. And quarry wall. I remember working as a nanny in college, and teaching my little three year old fella how to do cannonballs. He would scream “CANNA-LOPE!” and hurl his little self into the water. I wanted that moment, on a t-shirt.

Each season we’ll be releasing some new designs for this line, and all will feature boys and girls playing together (usually outside). Childhood is supposed to be big, bright, and bold. Let’s keep it that way, and support the businesses that allow your children the chidhood they deserve.

You can buy tees HERE!

Cannonball! line logo.

 

Some ballcap buddies build a sand castle while other friends enjoy the sun and waves.

 

This group of friends enjoys everything the perfect swimming hole has to offer.

 

Five pals enjoy the summer twilight at their fun campsite.

You can buy tees HERE!

One Slice of the Pie

Childhood is a time of discovery, exploration, snuggling, storybooks, and play. It is a beautiful, beautiful time of life. Let’s not limit it.

Pigtail Pals is not anti-princess. We’re not anti-pink. We’re anti-limitation. We want our children to have all the room in the world to be who they love to be, and the room to define what that is. We need to agree to give them that space.

Playing princesses is fine. But it’s just one slice of the pie. Let’s teach our children that life is a marvelous feast. Let’s give them idea after idea to devour. Imagination is a hungry beast. 

Let’s allow them to be a princess one day, a pirate or explorer the next….whether they are a boy or a girl.

Let’s get out of their way, and allow them to be children.

The Class of 2024 Makes Me Weep

Amelia, 5 years old

Dear Amelia,

I’m laying awake on this chilly spring night, largely because your father is snoring, but also because it is going on 3am and I have this giant ball of anxiety and hope mixing in my chest and I don’t know how to get it out so I’m crying. In the morning I have to take you to Kindergarten Screening. I do not know if any of the other mothers are crying about this. Maybe not. But your mama is.

I just snuck out of your bedroom actually. You had cried out in your sleep for me. I never know when will be the last time the both of us will fit curled up together in that twin bed of yours, so I will always come to snuggle you. It feels like just yesterday when I nursed you for the final time, and I get scared that I’ll miss that last time you want to snuggle, and all of sudden I’ll realize you haven’t asked me to in ages. 

Once you warmed up you drifted back into a deeper sleep and I laid there and silently watched you. Your tiny breath moving the blankets up and down. Your little, sweet face so full of beauty and potential and wonder. I said a quiet prayer of thankfulness that you are mine, safe and sound, healthy and bright.

Tomorrow at kinder screening the teachers will see that you are a friendly and happy girl who mastered her letters, numbers, colors, and shapes years ago. In fact, I think you are reading but are too shy to let us know. You know how to use scissors and hold a pencil properly. You have no idea what your phone number is, and for that I apologize. We’ll work on it.

The tears are slowly rolling down my face and into my ears because I have no idea how we got here. How this happened so fast. How the tiny baby who used to sleep every night nestled into the curve of my arm is now the giant kid sleeping in her bed, surrounded by your pictures of whales and dolphins and your trusty stuffed bunny.

I’m crying because I’m nervous and I pray you land a string of teachers who see your creativity and imagination as assets. You take in the world so differently than most folks, and I hope you are taught by adults who respect that. Sometimes adults have forgotten to see the world in the ways that you do. I hope you are taught by teachers who never tell you to stop questioning. I hope you always question authority. Even if it is mine. I’m hopeful for a lifelong love of learning and reading that school will formalize for you, on top of the lessons and experiences I have filled your first five years with.

I am anxious about who your classmates will be and if they will be nice to you. I hope you meet a little girlfriend or two in your class and they teach you how to jumprope and skin the cat and make dandelion chains. I could teach you those things, but I think that’s the kind of stuff one should learn from girlfriends in that magical space of giggling and sweetly playing together. 

My mind is now bouncing around, to your first school play, first Girl Scout meeting, first spelling bee. Art shows and choir recitals and maybe band practice but please not the clarinet. Sleepovers and summer camp. School dances where you joke around with your friends and act stupid. Track practice and swim meets and if there is a god, soccer games. But if you don’t play soccer and instead write for the school paper or debate team I’ll be okay with that.  I’ll be okay if you get a detention or have blue hair, or an angry phase with lots of eye makeup and Edgar Allen Poe. Asking for the car to take your friends out for pizza. I hope you are a leader among your friends. Then you’ll be off to college to study whatever it is you want and I’ll be crying because if I can’t handle kinder screening, I certainly won’t be able to handle college. And then you’ll come home from college with your nose pierced and a tiny tattoo that was the result of a girls night out and I’ll be okay with that, but I wouldn’t suggest telling your grandmother. I hope you have some marvelous youthful indiscretions that make the corners of your mouth curl up when you think back on them when you’re 35. Get your heart broken once or twice, just not too badly that it leaves you bitter. Really good love is worth the wait, and you won’t find it when you’re 19. Your dad isn’t going to be cool with you dating, but I’ll work on him for you. Do not ever let me find out that you cheated on a test or were cruel to a person who needed your friendship. I’ll allow you the space to be a lot of things, but a cheat or a jackass are not one of those things.

You told me yesterday that you don’t need to go to school because you want to grow up and ride around on the city bus with the rainbow seats. I want you go out into the world, far far across the world, and see new peoples in new places living lives you couldn’t imagine. I want you to see those kind of lives, be in those places. It will shift how you see the world. Scuba dive and jump into waterfalls and horseback ride in the desert and crawl through caves. Visit famous museums and explore ancient ruins and travel by train and backpack. Do not do drugs.

As much as I’d rather take you down to the art museum in Chicago, I guess we should not play hookie on your very first day of  public schooling. So we will go to kinder screening where you can show them that you can cut and color and write and we will begin the journey of your formal education. I’ll supplement the music and art classes you’ll be missing out on due to budget cuts, and we’ll make a deal that you’ll study hard all the way through college and hopefully find a few things you are passionate about. You will be the graduating class of 2024 and although your dad and I both tear up at the thought of the first day of kindergarten, the life that lays before you will be so amazing for you that some of these tears are tears of joy.

As long as you are doing whatever it is that makes your heart happy, I will not mind if you grow up to ride the city bus with the rainbow seats.

I love you little girl.

Love, Mama