I am a self-proclaimed life long learner. Not just because I love education and believe in it, but also because I continuously make mistakes and it’s either get up and learn or lay on the floor and waste away. Sometimes literally. I fall a lot.
I learned a pretty big lesson this last week though from sidekick 1. She saw me learning and even said, “Sometimes you teach me things, and sometimes I teach you things too.” So right. Everyday.
I was busy one morning so my well-trained one decided to help me out by picking out the outfit that I was going to wear for the day. She selected an incredibly bright pair of leggings and an equally bright but not of same color striped tank top. When I saw the outfit I laughed. Out loud.
“I can’t wear that, everyone will think I am crazy and they will laugh at me.” Bad Mom.
She cried. Real tears. “I thought you would look so pretty in that mom.”
Shame. Frustration at myself. Anger at my actions.
Why can’t I wear that? Why do I worry about what others will think? She will learn this all too soon and lose the special that makes her sparkle extra bright. She too will try to conform in order to fit in. Why now? Bad mom…Let her be her. Show her she can.
“I’m so sorry. I do love that outfit and I will wear it.”
“No Mom. I don’t want you get laughed at.” Sniffle.
“I will wear whatever you want me to wear. You know fashion so much more than me (It’s really true).”
“Okay Mom, I picked this one instead. It’s not as bright.”
I don’t love selfies but I couldn’t resist. (This is my best “tight pants” dance move)
You bet I rocked this in public. (no that is not pink in the pants-it’s orange) Proud of it, head held high. I even found the nicest lady I could and secretly asked her for a compliment. She told me that she loved my outfit.
“Did you hear that? She loves my outfit. See you were right. I don’t know anything about fashion and I should listen to you more.”
“Do you like my outfit too?” She asks the lady with a smile a mile wide. Then she twirled and did a little break dance move on the grass to the music.
I learned to “embrace myself.” I learned that life comes far to fast in the world and I am not ready for her to have to fight it yet. I’m not saying that social norms don’t need to be taught. They do, but only when it defines character and shows respect.
Today I will wear my “fashiony” outfit, embrace life, and show my kids that I am still learning too. I think if we all face the world together we stand a fighting chance.
It’s a good thing she loves me and forgives me right away. My mistakes would add up if she didn’t. Look how cute she looks though. She really is a doll.