The closer we get to kindergarten, the more complaints I hear from other parents about the princess world taking over back-to-school.
I've made my peace with pink and sparkles.
But I will grant you I worship the boots that Jessie the Cowgirl walks in.
She plays second fiddle to her male compatriots Woody and Buzz Lightyear and to every other girl character out there (hello Dora?), but Joan Cusack's loud, gangly red-head isn't an imaginary hero.
She is every little girl I know.
She is my daughter, who at 5 is still excited about life, eager to lead the boys into danger and beyond.
She doesn't always know what to say, but she says it anyway.
Where the princesses are demure, Jessie is brash. Where the princesses are quiet, Jessie wears her heart on her sleeve.
There is a bit of princesshood I look forward to. The self-assured state. The logical state. The time when she thinks first, acts second.
But that is not childhood. The princesses are -- by story's sake -- teenagers.
Jessie the cowgirl is a kindergartner, her blazing red hair befitting an afternoon making mudpies on the playground.
She's helping me make the transition from mother of a Dora-loving toddler (Gawd help me) to elementary schooler.
Expect to see my daughter at kindergarten with her Jessie doll (a hand-me-down from a cousin who feels she's officially too old) under one arm, Jessie Silly Band (or Itty Bitty Band as they're called when they're off brand) on the other, her Disney Store Jessie backpack with gingham accents that are still pure sweetness on her back (disclosure: the latter was sent to The Stir and the matching lunchbox is currently on sale for $6 at the Disney Store site!!).
I'll let her grow up -- if she can still "yahoo" without feeling ill at ease.
Are you a Jessie fan?
Image via Disney Store.com