Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mom Costumes

If I'd had more time lately for blogging, I would have mentioned this sooner, but my friend Amy has started a blog! It's called Experience Imagination, and it's now there in my sidebar under "Face to Face Friends."

Amy and her husband Adam go to our church, and Papa Rooster and I had the pleasure of knowing them before they started dating, watching their relationship blossom, and then seeing them joined in marriage, with Papa Rooster officiating! Now they have a beautiful little girl who is Bitty Bantam's age--about 21 months. Amy is a great writer and I've been enjoying her new blog immensely.

My favorite post so far is here. It's called "The Clothes Make the Mom," and here's a most timely excerpt:

And maybe this is why moms don't get so much respect in our society. We don't have a fabulous uniform. Little boys want to grow up to be firemen and astronauts, little girls want to be princesses and ballerinas (and yes, some little girls want to be firefighters and some little boys want to be ballet dancers). All of these have great uniforms. Every year about this time there are probably millions of kids dressing up as astronauts and princesses, going to parties or trick-or-treating from house to house.

Can't you just imagine a little girl appearing on your doorstep in sweatpants and a long-sleeved T-shirt (possibly stained here and there), with her hair up in a ponytail, holding out her orange plastic pumpkin? "And what are you this year?" you ask politely. She holds her head up proudly and announces, "I'm a stay-at-home mom."

Now, when I was Amy's age (ten years ago) and just had little kids, I was a jeans and sweatshirt mom for many years. But since I've become the mom of a teenage daughter, my "uniform" has changed.

As we have entered this new stage, I've been faced with the all-important question: Do I let my daughter dress me?

It all started a couple of years ago when a friend passed on some of her teenage daughter's clothes, thinking they would fit Blondechick (then 12)--but they fit me instead. Since I'd been wearing maternity clothes for around two of the previous four years, I hadn't updated my wardrobe in a while. Perhaps this well-made, stylish and modest collection of separates was a godsend.

But did I look like a 40-year-old woman trying to look like a teenager? My daughter assured me I did not. Then another friend did the same thing--gave us her teenage daughter's hand-alongs--and who did they fit? Me. Next, attracted by a boy's winter coat on top of a pile, I stopped to trash-pick outside of a house where the owners had had to move in a hurry, it appeared; and what did I find but a box of name-brand teenage girls' clothing--in my size.

I figured God was giving me the go-ahead. So I bought a few pairs of shoes and earrings to go with my new clothing, and I feel like I've been dressing in a "cool mom" uniform ever since. (With the blessing of my best friends, who affirmed my daughter's opinion that I look fine and who've been charged with the responsibility of letting me know if I ever start looking ridiculous.)

My daughter, almost my size, is now quick to borrow my shoes, jewelry, gauchos and jackets. When we go shopping, we're starting to justify some purchases by thinking that we'll both be able to wear it. Then we have to negotiate like sisters: "Fine. You can wear it on Saturday, but I get to wear it to church on Sunday!"

She's also quick to tell me when something is amiss in my combinations. I usually consider her opinion, but sometimes, like Bertie Wooster, I put my foot down and wear it anyway--just to make it clear that I'm not a slave to a junior high girl's ideas about fashion!

The other all-important question, of course, is: What does Papa Rooster think of my new uniform?

He seems to like it a lot.

So my husband is happy, my teens aren't too embarassed of me, and I've even been mistaken for Blondechick13.9's older sister (from the back, that is).

So why do I feel like I'm wearing a Cool Mom costume all the time?

I think it must be that my bell bottom jeans are fun, but I'm really just a straight-leg girl at heart.

Now go give Amy a big welcome to the blogosphere!!


Jennifer said...

Hen, I've been to Amy's blog already! It's very good, not sure how I found her, but I have her bookmarked. Sweet, how long you have known her.

I've found I dress better the slimmer I am...when I am heavey I don't care so much how I look, or don't want to I guess. I have noticed that you get better treatment the nicer/more put together you look. Sad, but true.
blessings this week,
Jenny in Ca

Amy said...

Thanks for the welcome! I knew if you could find the time to post with six kids running around, I could certainly carve out some time away from my one. :)

I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. I've found it really helpful to process through some things I'm wondering about. Plus it's often just fun!

And let me "third" the opinion that you don't look like a 40-something mom trying to be young. You look good!

At A Hen's Pace said...

You're welcome, and thank YOU--for the "third"!

purple_kangaroo said...

That's so funny. I'm also of a size that large size kids' clothes or junior size clothes fit me, and I wonder if at almost 30 I'm too old to be wearing them. :)

tonia said...

OK...I'm not jealous at all that you can wear jr high girls' sizes. Nope. :)

I totally agree with you about exchanging the "mom uniform". I try to look nice everywhere we go, even just to the store. Even jeans look better when you add a cute button down and a pair of clogs or loafers instead of the grimy tennis shoes! :)