This is what my daughter wore to her first day of 1st grade. Three pairs of different colored socks, all inside-out, stuffed into her “fancy” shoes, with black leggings, a headband for a belt, and a striped dress on top. And oh, let’s not forget the bright pink BATHING SUIT she is wearing under all that jazz.
Why would I let my child dress like that on the first day of school, you ask? Because this ain’t my first rodeo. She is my third and youngest child, arriving nine years after my first, when I was close to 40. And I’ve found that one of the benefits of being an “older” mom is that you learn to pick your battles.
Because as anyone with a daughter knows, there are SO many battles.
She is my free spirit kid, a leader who marches to her own beat. Unlike me, she loves fashion and has been assembling her own outfits since she was two. Much of the time she resembles a mini version of Lady Gaga. And always, always, she wears three pairs of socks.
With my older kids, I would have cared what people thought. Did they think I was a bad mom for letting my child walk around like that? That I was lazy or over-indulgent? Perhaps. But with parenting experience comes confidence. I know I’m a good mom, my kids know I’m a good mom, and that’s all that matters. How I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that.
Who knows, this kid could grow up to be a famous designer, or come in, like, 11th place on Project Runway, all because I gave her the freedom to parade around town like a modern day Punky Brewster.
But the battles that I do pick? Those times, I make sure I stand my ground.
Other times, you do what you have to do to get your kid and her overstuffed fancy shoes out the door.