Fending off nightmares

This thread is a little old but it still makes me smile.

Of all the things I wanted to teach my daughter via Warcraft, it never occurred to me that something as simple (and adorable) as a wind rider cub plushie could be so useful. Not only did that guy help his daughter conquer her fears; he enabled her to fight her fears on her own. Chalk another one up for the ladies who won’t be found waiting in a tower room for their rescuer– she’ll rescue herself, kicking butts and taking names in the meantime, thank you.

My husband often asks me, “What if she (our daughter) wants to be a cheerleader? Or a pretty charming princess?”, pressing me on subjects that I usually deem as “girly” and have, therefore, shunned in the past. As far as the “pretty charming princess” bit is concerned, I replied that she can be pretty, charming and no less a princess while wielding a sword or crossbow. Or, if you’re Princess Vespa, a blaster rifle.

And the cheerleading thing I’ve already figured out. Believe it or not, back in the day, I wanted to do cheerleading because I appreciated a good beat and moving to said good beat to convince myself that I have some sort of coordination. But anyway… Valve was kind enough to release the entire soundtrack for Portal 2 on the game’s website for FREE. I’ve been listening to the wonderful techno/electronica beats almost nonstop– and so has the Whelpling. Just picture this: a group of energetic cheerleaders doing a routine in Chell’s signature white Aperture Science tank top and orange track suit pants, plus long-fall boots to prevent any sprained ankles and complete the look… All to the sounds of a well-made Portal 2 medley. For a more steampunkish routine, they could use a mash-up of Warcraft‘s Goblin and Gnome themes from the game! Their costumes could include goggles and arclight spanner pom poms. (The goggles could be a thumb to the nose at those who think cheerleaders are vapid, mindless ditzes, too. How’s that for wit?)

If motherhood has taught me anything (and that’s motherhood in the Midwest, mind you), it’s that “femininity” is solely defined by the woman– not by a magazine, fashion ad, or the latest feminist talking head. For those who have been following my blog for a while, it’s pretty obvious that I’m no typical suburban housewife/stay-at-home mom. But the fact that I am a stay-at-home mom and housewife– a homemaker,  if you will– is contrary to the enlightened, educated, liberated, “hear me roar” image of the modern woman.

It took me a long time to get to the point of being comfortable with my own brand of femininity. Back in high school, my good friend Amy deliberately gave me something pink for my birthday. I didn’t realize it then but it was her way (and the universe’s) of telling me that you can like conventional “girly” things without buying into the whole makeup-and-frilly-dresses girliness touted by magazine ads. Not that there’s anything wrong with makeup and frilly dresses but it’s just not my cup of tea.

My biggest nightmare was being just like everyone else. I spent so much time trying to be the opposite of whatever “normal” was that I (a) didn’t realize I’d become like so many other people trying to be “different” and (b) just had to be myself to be a completely unique and unlike-anyone-else individual. Ironic, isn’t it?

There’s a certain charm of bringing the unexpected. The first time I walked into a comic/hobby shop, I was in a skirt and heels; that didn’t stop me from mopping the floor with my opponent in a game of Warmachine. When I first started playing WoW, I was under the impression that Alliance were the “good guys” and religiously refused to play Horde. But, as I leveled my current main, there is a lot of satisfaction in saving the world, my fellow Hordies, and the occasional Alliance player as the member of a faction that includes zombies and “big, hulking brutes.”

Then there are times when expectations are low or even nonexistent. My main is a blood elf hunter. For some, that’s two strikes already. The term “huntard” doesn’t come out of nowhere and blood elves have hate clubs instead of fan clubs. I was in for some rough times. But, hey, I’m still here, aren’t I? Being my blood elf hunter even landed me a husband! Bet you don’t hear that every day!

There’s a part of me that thinks my subconscious seeks out these sorts of predicaments just to puzzle them out and throw the status quo out the window, back in the faces of critics and naysayers. For better or worse, I’m not your average mom or housewife and I’m not within the average demographic for gamers. I’m just me.

And that’s precisely what I want for my daughter. No matter what she does, or what path she walks, she should do it with her own brand of style. So long as it’s not hurting anyone else or herself, who’s to say, “Nay?” Certainly not me, even as her mother. It’s like that moment of clarity when Varian realizes Anduin isn’t the “RAWR SMASH HORDE!!” warrior type and is, instead, a warrior of a different calling but no less strong or effective in battle.

One day, she’ll have a nightmare and we’ll teach her how to handle those. And one day she’ll figure out her identity and niche in the world. My mom used to say that children were blank canvases, just waiting for life’s experiences to put color and art upon them. What my mom forgot to mention was that the child would be the artist, not the parent. All we parents can do is guide and teach.


About Toriah the Mom

Mom, quasi-librarian, gamer, writer
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