Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Letting Go

I don't know why this popped into my head tonight. I'm sitting here in the floor of my bedroom, watching Finley and Gunnar bathe in my tub. They are digging the jets. I just threatened them that I wasn't using a mop after they finished so don't splash! We've had a long day-I had to go get Finley and Slade at two different times from school today. They both have the pukes. Fun, fun times. I have cleaned two bathrooms and done numerous loads of laundry. Gag. Anyways, I was watching Finley get into the bathtub and she was trying to decide whether to wash her hair or not. 

Finley......boy have we come a long ways from the days of tiny delicate ribbon bows that were placed on her nearly bald head with Karo syrup. I made all those tiny bows by hand before she was even born. And her clothes! It was so much fun dressing up my very own little doll. Dresses, ruffles, smocking. I had a ball picking out her clothes, for years I did it. I always bought her clothes instead of myself. It was so much more fun buying for her than buying for me. Actually, I still like to buy my kids clothes better.

And then she turned six. And she decided to have an opinion. What!?! The clothes and hair have been the bone of contention in this house the entire school year. Tears have been shed-both Finley and myself. There has been yelling, pouting, and all out madness on many mornings before school. I just cannot believe the clothing combinations that she thinks match.

 For instance, this is one of her picks. A navy school shirt, blackish leggings, and a pink long sleeve shirt underneath. She has a closet full of cute, girly outfits and the school shirt wins out most days. Or the too big Nike shirt from Academy. Or the tights with a too short shirt. I have to put my foot down to my child going to school looking like Jane Fonda. Don't get me wrong, if anyone has the body to pull of skin-tight tights, it's Finley. I just think she might need a long shirt to go with the tights.

 Now, she does have a good sense of fashion on some days. This was one of her outfits. I thought she did well this day. But I would say on most days, she looks like Punky Brewster. Or a rag-a-muffin. Or a homeless child. For months we have fought about clothes and hair. Oh, the hair. It hangs in her face. I have to beg and plead to pull it up in a braid. Apparently braids aren't in-style in Mrs. Malone's classroom.

 I worked really hard on her hair on her Valentine's party day. It was a side braid that went into a bun on the side with a pink bow. It was really cute. And then I arrived at the party at 2:30 and this was her hair. It looked like she was an extra in the movie, Twister! I just cringed and hoped no parents thought I sent her to school like this!!!

She would just prefer to wear her hair like this most days. We had been going round and round for months. And then, one morning, it just clicked. Or maybe I had an epiphany. Or perhaps, I was just tired. I decided.......WHO CARES!!! Why does it matter what she wears to school? So long as it appropriately covers her little body, who cares. I got to pick out her outfits for 6 years, but now I was going to have to let go. I had to learn to let go of the matchy outfits, the matching bows, and socks that match. I still try to guide her in the direction of not being Jane Fonda in the tight tights and short shirt but I mostly let her pick. She goes to school and she doesn't match. Most mornings, her bow is a different shade of blue than her shirt, and even though I know she has one that would match better, I just let it go.  Her socks usually aren't even in the same color realm as what she's wearing, but I just let it go. I would rather braid her hair, but she wants a ponytail. Her pink jacket would match better than her fuzzy black one. The boots would look cuter than the Toms with that outfit. Kyle even came home with green Toms and I haven't said one word about her wearing those this week and they haven't matched a thing!!!

I decided that in the scheme of life, what she picks out on a random school day in Kindergarten really won't affect the rest of her life. Life will still go on. Hopefully the teacher will still be able to teach her even though she might thinking that her outfit is reminiscent of a 1980's punk rock video. I'm alright, so long as her hair is out of her face. We have agreed on ponytails most mornings. I sit and smile when I let them out of the car in the mornings in front of the school, and I watch her run inside with her ponytail and pink flowered backpack, with socks that don't match. It's the first of many things that I will just have decide to let go of as mom. She's her own little person.

I'm pretty sure that my favorite thing in elementary school was a pink jean jacket and a pair of boots made out of blue jean material. Were they my mom's favorite? Probably not. But she let me wear them and jewelry and bandana necklaces that I loved and now they are laughable in old photos. I still made it all the way through school and had lots of fun. She let me wear it because I was my own little person. You don't remember the clothes that didn't match. You remember the people and what you did. You remember the fun times. You remember taking naps and your favorite books. What kid puked in the cafeteria, who the nice teachers were, and recess with your friends. The field trips and buying a spirit ribbon for the football game on Friday mornings. What kid went to the principal office and who had the tuna fish sandwich every day.

Letting go has saved us many tears and fights in the morning. Letting go has made life more pleasant. I've decided it will be alright. I will be alright. Finley will be alright. Plus, I don't remember what I wore to Kindergarten even one day. I can tell you, though, who lost a tooth in Mrs. Jernigan's class in 1984.

1 comment:

Funky Finds said...

This reminded me of the million & one wrap around skirts we had made (was it Mrs. Verner that made them?) and Rhonda made the coordinating shirts & hair bows. What a fashion statement in 9th grade!!!! We were super hot :)