Thursday, July 10, 2008

Here we go again....


Yesterday I was taking my nine-year old daughter shopping for summer clothes. This is the child who couldn't choose a decent-looking outfit if it was dancing up and down in front of her. This is the child who I have to send back up to her room nine (school) mornings out of ten because whatever she's thrown on looks so hideous that I'm afraid she'll be beaten to a pulp by bullies the moment she walks out the front door. And this is my last little one, the last one who looks at me with utter adoration and still thinks I do everything right. Anyway, we were shopping and I was doing what I have always done, which is to choose stuff for her, hold it up for her to look at (just to be polite), and say "This will be good for you," then buy it. So there I was, barging along, grabbing this, rejecting that, filling the cart with whatever I liked. Finally I got to the perfunctory hold-em-up-for-her part. I showed her a pair of white capri pants - perfect for the playground because your legs don't get slide burn, perfect for summer because they're knee-length. She looked. I refrained from rolling my eyes at her and tossing them in the buy pile. She pondered them deeply. "Well?" I said impatiently. Finally she shook her head and said, "Mom, I'm just not feeling 'em."

They grow up. It's what they're supposed to do. It's what we examine our hearts and tear our hair out to help them do. Still, it surprises me every time.

10 comments:

a thousand shades of twilight said...

Ah, Elizabeth, how nice to see that lovely photo of you and your daughter! I particularly love her glittery medieval princess hat. I also see that she has inherited her mother's creative streak, if her efforts with that cake are anything to go by!:)
You write so well- it's so easy to visualise the everyday situations you describe. It's funny how, as logic-defying as it is, we all like to believe that things are going to stay the same forever - I do it all the time and am amused by the fact that I am always affronted when that belief is shaken in some way(for example, at one end of the scale is one of my favourite shirts falling apart, at the other end, the death of a loved one..)

PS The frustrating thing is that I'm sure you do know better than her when choosing clothes (the Capris sound fab). I suppose it's her job as a kid to ignore that for a while and become an emo or insist on nothing but Barbie-wear or something for a few years...

Doralong said...

At least she isn't addicted to purple Hannah Montana shirts, just sayin'..

It does come as a shock to the system when they up and start acting mature on you.

Willym said...

And I wonder where she got that line from???? And you never know one of her outrageous outfits may become the next fashion trend for the 9 and ups???

And the pic - love it.....

yellowdog granny said...

oh dont you both look beautiful...and oh lordy, this sounds like me and my daughter mojo when she was little..I'm telling you her first complete sentence was 'mom, it's just not me.'...
she picked out a yellow lace frilly dress once'as her football dress'..she wore it to play football in..I swear to the goddess..her sleep wear?...a pair of royal blue/purple silk pajamas that were 3 sizes too big, but she didn't care, she wanted them..she wore plaids with polka dots with a orange knit cap..by the time she reached 12 years old it was a fist fight in the parking lot each and every time we went shopping for clothes..finally I would just give my 2 daughter in laws the money and let them go shopping..I actually asked her once when she was about 14 after about 3 hours of shopping to stand in front of the truck so I could run her down..she's 35 now and it's a lot better..but thought it would never change there for a while..the first time she and i both agreed on a pair of shoes, we looked at each other and both of us starting humming the twilight zone music..

sageweb said...

How adorable...two beauties. I love how she is an individual...she doesnt feel the need to have the look that is in or what "seems" right. That is great independance. I wish I had that.

Elizabeth said...

1000 shades - Yes, she has inherited all my creativity, if by creativity you mean mess-making abilities. Thanks for the nice words about my writing. Much needed in these days of trying to get a novel published (still no word).

As you say, she's doing her job, and my job is to let her. And they are good company as they age. I just so love the open affection and directness of the little ones.

Elizabeth said...

Dora - Oh, she's already moving out of Hannah Montana and into God knows what. It's a kick in the butt, isn't it?

Willym - She didn't get it from me! I swear. I would have said, "Those are hideous!" or something equally direct. That's the thing about them growing up; they start absorbing stuff from other places.

Granny - What a hoot. She sounds almost as headstrong as her mother! How's your back feeling?

Sage - Awww, thanks. And "clueless" was more what she was. Though no more, apparently! And I'd say you have a fair amount of independence, Miss I-grew-up-in-a-conservative-Christian-family-but-now-I'm-out-and-being-true-to-myself! Don't sell yourself short.

more cowbell said...

Gorgeous picture, E -- mom and daughter, both. I'm definitely feeling your smile.

Yes, they do grow up. Parenting ain't for sissies.

Gabi said...

Lovely to see this picture, Elizabeth. Great description of the world of mothering! I'm enjoying your wonderful writing.

Elizabeth said...

Cowbell - Thanks. And no, it ain't.

Gabi - Thanks for reading, and for the kind words!