It isn't every day that I see something on the internet that makes me laugh out loud, but that is exactly what happened when I stumbled upon a couple of photos of a little girl named Presleigh. Not only did the images make me laugh out loud, but they also immediately brought to mind memories of my own daughter, both in her pre-school days and when she was in middle school.

Warning: If you're offended by middle fingers or F-bombs, you may want to stop right here. If you're cool with it, please feel free to keep reading.

The photos in question were captured by a Wichita, Kansas photographer named Ashli. She owns Beck and Roam Photography and she captured the images at the conclusion of a recent photoshoot with Presleigh. The photos of the smiling three-year-old, shared here with both the permission of Ashli and Presleigh's mom, have all the makings for an adorable and wholesome photo session - sunflowers lumbering in the background, sweet little denim dress, cute little bows in her hair - and I am certain that the rest of the photos from the shoot are just as sweet as apple pie but as Ashli tells it,

Whenever I take individual photos of children I always finish it with “okay, now you can do WHATEVER pose YOU want, anything!”
Usually I get twirls, the “floss”, ballerina poses, laughs or awkward stares….
And then sometimes I get Presleigh (3 years old) who without hesitation throws up a kill shot middle finger and slaps on the proudest smile.
I’m so glad I met this little girl because she makes every single session we have hilarious.
Stand tall and be proud baby girl
And boy, is Presleigh beaming in the photos! Take a look.
Ashli/Beck and Roam Photography

This little gal is just as proud as punch as she gracefully tossed her middle finger in the air and smiled for the camera. It was that pride and well-intended middle finger that triggered memories of my own daughter.

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See, for those that don't know, I have always had a penchant for tossing up a middle finger, when it is warranted... and sometimes when it's not. There was also never exactly a shortage of F-bombs from me when my daughter, Elizabeth was in her formative years either - Hey, being a mom is hard. Ok? They don't exactly come with an instruction manual and I was in my early 20s when she was pre-school-aged.

I was supervising the making of a peanut butter sandwich when Elizabeth was about 4-years-old and witnessed her turn around on her step-stool, extend her arm out straight in front of her with perfect form, and let that middle-finger-of-a-bird fly. I remember feeling my eyes get huge, my mouth dropped open and I tried not to laugh. Then I started to panic! I just knew that this was going to be something that I was going to have to take the heat for. Luckily, when I asked her where she learned that, in her sweet little voice she replied, "I saw Daddy wave at someone like that the other day." Whew! Sweet relief! I was off the hook!!!

Now, with my proclivity for dropping F-bombs, I did teach Elizabeth that there were certain words that only grownups said and that she, as a little girl, should not say. That kid kept a mental list of bad words that she knew existed but didn't dare utter. As she got older and into middle school, we had a conversation about those kinds of words. See, I knew she was using them. We've all used those words at that age and I've never wanted her to feel like she couldn't be her open, honest self with me. So we talked about it and I told her that I was not going to be offended (and she wasn't going to get in trouble) if she used a swear word from time to time because let's face it - sometimes the addition of an F-bomb is the only way to fully and truly articulate your point. I know some may say that it's not ladylike to throw up the ol' one-finger salute or to pepper a sentence with the F-word, but to be honest, there are things way f****** worse than being unladylike... like being inauthentic.

Elizabeth is now 22 and I am proud to say that she is 100% authentically herself and she is totally comfortable being herself when she is with me, F-bombs, middle fingers, and all. In fact, here's a photo of the two of us in Savannah, Georgia celebrating her recent birthday together on our annual girls' trip and being unapologetically us.

Kat Mykals/TSM

To Presleigh, be exactly who you are. Be unapologetic and unabashedly you and don't ever let the world tell you that you can't proudly toss that finger up whenever you feel like it. To Presleigh's momma, I know it can be tough raising a strong young woman, but you're doing great! And to Ashli at Beck and Roam Photography, thank you for sharing these images with us!

 

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