On a good day, you couldn't pay me to go back to high school, but it's stories like the one you're about to read that make me miss being a teenager. Meet Alanna Wall. She was born in 2000 (she'll be 13 this year), and she's the brains behind Polished Girlz, a non-profit that visits children's hospitals to do glittery manicures on the fingers of sick kids and kids with special needs.
Hers is a beautiful story -- literally and figuratively. Alanna loves glitter and nail polish. And she doesn't care what society thinks about these girlish pursuits -- she's using them to change the world.
Oh, excuse me, I seem to have gotten some glitter in my eye. Where were we?
Oh yeah, why I miss being a teenager ... and why I am a little less afraid of raising one after reading Alanna's story.
Here's a kid who knows what she likes, and she's using it to her advantage. Remember those days? When it didn't matter what society thought because you thought you knew everything and you still had the chutzpah to go against the grain?
It makes parenting teenagers terrifying. It can also make parenting teenagers amazing ... if you're willing to take a risk and let them go for it.
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Alanna's parents obviously have been, and it's worked out. She now has some 125 volunteers in various states who help her visit sick kids and light up their day. She's even landed on the Disney Channel and on Ellen DeGeneres' show last week (which is how I heard about Polished Girlz).
Not bad for a girl indulging in "flighty" pursuits like nail polish and glitter, huh? Check this kid out:
Still think glitter and nail polish are childish and too girly?
Image via EllenTV