Last Friday, Crafty skipped school and I took her into the city for the day. She had a doctor's appointment in the morning then we went out for lunch and did some shopping ... a LOT of shopping.
Since the start of the school year we have had at least two Wardrobe Emergencies each week. Her clothes are always too big, too small, too tight, too loose, too scratchy, too soft, too staticy or too slippery but one thing is for certain, they are ALWAYS too uncomfortable.
In September, we did all of the usually back-to-school shopping and Crafty got a lot of new stuff but somehow none of it is right. Although she tried everything on and I asked her several times if she liked what we were picking out, only a couple of those items are in her Regular Wardrobe Rotation. I have been beyond frustrated so on Friday I decided it was time to take action!
While we were shopping I kind of hung back and let her pick up the things that she liked. At first she kept asking me for my opinion and I kept tossing the question back at her. By the third store she was getting the point, her clothes, her choices. I admit, I was a little nervous at first ... there are so many ways this could have gone wrong but it didn't. She started picking up clothes that were really her. Cute, quirky and just a little bit mature while still being fun and playful.
We had a fantastic day in the city, laughing, joking, teasing and talking, neither of us wanted our day alone together to end. As we left the last store, with a bag full of hairbands, scarves and earrings, I promised that this would become a tradition, that I would make sure we had many, many more days like this. Just me and her.
On the drive home I looked over at Crafty, curled up and asleep in the seat neat to me, and I marveled at the girl she is and the woman she will one day become. I realized that although she won't be my little girl forever, I still have time, lots and lots of time to make memories, if I want to. I know that I am often guilty of passing over these small moments, these opportunities for memories in the busyness of our day to day life. I get so caught up in volunteering, advocating and helping for the sake of my kids that I sometimes forget to just BE with my kids. That needs to change.
On Saturday morning, I knocked on Crafty's bed room door and asked if she needed help putting her new things away. We spent an hour or so cleaning out her closet of everything that was 'too' and making room for her new things. While we were busy sorting through her clothes she stopped and suddenly gave me a hug.
"Thanks for being here, Mom."
"Thanks for letting me in."
"Mom! You're so weird, sometimes! Of course I let you in. I'll always let you in ... if you knock first!"
I hope so, my girl, I hope so!
Fame is rot; daughters are the thing. ~James Matthew Barrie