As much as I don't like to admit it, when I think about raising a little girl, I still think about cultural norms like pigtails, dolls, and hopscotch. Granted, I also think about things like instilling confidence, self-acceptance, compassion, creativity, being body positive, and a lack of fear about being assertive, ambitious, and stealing all the STEM-field careers, but those still come with the stereotypes. So you're probably not surprised when I tell you that I don't necessarily think about swords when it comes to parenting a daughter. However, this recent video of a young samurai sword master who happens to be a little girl named has me re-thinking that tendency.
Jesse Jane McParland is a badass kid who makes me feel inadequate in all the right ways. It also makes me excited for when my toddler son is old enough to start making some choices about his own interests. When the time comes, if he starts asking about swords, or archery, or swallowing fire, or anything else dangerous and scary for a mom like junior high football, someone please show me this video again so I can be reminded about just how rad kids can be when they are able to pursue their passions (when properly supervised and following all advised safety guidelines, of course). Also, please bring me lots of ice packs, because my husband will need them after I spend all of our son's practice hours gripping his hand in fear.
Turns out, this recent spin in viral notoriety isn't McParland's only brush with fame. She recently competed on Britain's Got Talent, making it clear that her amazing routine wasn't a one-time deal:
Should you find her skill a bit intimidating, let's take a look at a few other clips of kiddos with varying levels of experience trying their hand at martial arts. Spoiler alert: Things are about to get stupid cute.