A bit of news before I start!
My wonderful friend Jenn Johansson has announced that she has an agent! Which, you know, I totally saw coming way back when she told me about her idea, but that didn't stop her from worrying (never stopped me with my books either, heh). Go congratulate her if you have the chance.
Get excited, because Julie Halpern, one of my favoritest authors, is holding a contest for her hilarious book INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER. It's out in paperback on the 7th, so if you don't win you have NO excuse not to buy it. While you're at it, you may as well pre-order DON'T STOP NOW, her next book coming out in June. I've read it; it's freaking awesome. Go. Click.
Finally, I'm sure you all read Nathan Bransford, former agent and awesome author, but I really wanted to point out this post on Virtual Witch Hunts, anyway. I talked about kindness last Friday for HWS, and this is exactly what I mean. As always, he said it very well.
And now, on to the post!
This is my daughter, who you all know as Ninja Girl. Her real name is Kora, and as you can see from this picture, she has quite the little personality. She is probably the most self-assured little girl I have ever met. Every day she reminds me that being myself is the best possible option.
You see, Kora is nothing but Kora. This is one thing she is very adamant about. She knows who she is and what she wants and she always has. One day, I can't even remember how old she was save she could talk fairly well, I said to her, "Kora, you're beautiful."
She gave me that face in the picture above, as if I'd insulted her deeply, and then said, "No! I'm Kora!"
I laughed, but at the same time I was proud. I loved that even a compliment that put her into a category was insulting to her. She is simply Kora. And it didn't stop there:
"You're three years old."
"No! I'm Kora!"
"No! I'm Kora!"
"No! I'm KORA!"
Sometimes she even adds a very cute "hmph" for emphasis. Her sense of identity is hardcore. She only wants to be herself. She is confident in who she is. In fact, I'm pretty sure she thinks she's the most awesome person on the planet. I dread the day she loses this—I want her to hold on to loving who she is as long as she can, but I know what growing up means and how hard it is for girls. I know that someday I'll have to remind her about her "No! I'm Kora!" moments, and they might mean nothing to her as she figures out how to balance being herself and belonging.
But for now I will treasure every "No! I'm Kora!" I get to hear, and I'll remember that I need to have more "No! I'm Natalie!" moments. Because I do like myself, and that's more important than I think we realize.