“Boys! We have to go to Rite-Aid. We need to get ready!” My sing-song voice called from the stairs. We were off to a great morning. In my optimism, I decided to push my luck. “Jon, are my blue sneaker downstairs? ” (I lived in Chicago during the 90s… the MJ, Bulls winning the Three-Peat days. Sneakers is in the vocab.)
Miraculously, he retrieved them and brought them up two flights of stairs with speed he will miss when he is a few decades older. He delivered them with a smile. Then he looked me over.
I had showered, brushed my teeth, put on mascara, applied deodorant AND used perfume. I had on UNSTAINED clothing that matched. My hair was in a ponytail (concessions have to be made) but a matching headband pulled back the curly strays.
Jonathan was NOT impressed. “Mom, not this.” “What? ” I asked, confused.
“You need a dress. No blue shirt today. I’ll be back” He ran to my closet, leaving me on the top step befuddled and slightly insulted.
I had worn real clothing every day this week. When one has 4 appointments and assessments, one realizes she too is being assessed, even subconsciously. I had washed and fixed hair, full make up to include RED LIPSTICK, earrings, and matching purses that were NOT diaper bags this week. My son disapproved of my matching work-out gear for the Friday schedule of carpet cleaning, toilet scrubbing, herding my feral children and Rite Aid?
He returned with a cranberry colored V-neck maternity shirt that I intend to wear when the weather cools. “Mom, you need this one. Wear the red.”
I decided this moment had to be documented.
“Sweetie, Mommy will wear a dress to church. Today we are running an errand. Blue is okay.” I began to negotiate with a fashion-policeman. He has never seen any reference to Project Runway, but I expected “Make it Work” to be his next sentence.
He looked at me solemnly, as if he was telling me I can’t be trusted to drive and needed to hand him the keys. This from a boy who buttons the top button and has a bungee around his neck from his pulley-system elevator project from the morning?
I stood up, explained that I matched and this is what I was wearing and it was time to go. With a great sign he left the shirt on the stairs and we headed to the car.
WHAT?! My fashion-minded kid has a penchant for ties, fedoras and newsboy hats, and very rarely wears a t-shirt. He would rather wear button-downs and look “handsome” because he gets affirmed and complimented constantly… but his matching needs work. His color wheel flattened and he dresses like a primary color circus tent without help. Socks and shoes are not fashion concerns– colorful knee socks under shorts and a mismatched polo are a go-to.
As the morning proceeded, my mother called. I recounted this tale. Grandmothers live for these moments. “Mom, I wouldn’t want to meet Billy Graham like this, but if I happened to we could chat and he could pray for me without feeling the need to call an intercessory prayer team first.”
Apparently I am two steps from a robe and hot rollers in the pick-up line. I’m sure that soon he will ask me to park and let him walk up to school as to not be seen with me. This is the first generation of parents who have pictures of themselves wearing what is in style for their children– and they don’t realize how bad they look based on how bad WE looked! Meanwhile, I just want his brother to keep his clothing ON.
Good luck with the fashion wars. Make it work.