Friday, April 8, 2011

The Progression of Parenthood

When did I go from only letting the children out of the house dressed like this... letting them leave the house like this? This is how she fixed her hair to run errands today. And I was okay with it.

The first few years of parenthood were spent spiffing the kids up in matching, clean clothes. They never left the house in anything that didn't match. That digressed to letting them wear whatever they wanted while we were at home. And that digressed to letting them wear whatever they wanted pretty much any time of the day. I still have the final say over what is worn on special occasions or holidays, picture days, and church days. I am pretty vigilant at catching someone trying to smuggle a tiara to church or holey jeans to family photos. Other than that, they can pretty much use their creativity with their appearances.

When Mallory appeared today, she was so proud of herself for the "fancy" (as she called it) hairstyle she created. As much as I cringed, how could I crush her accomplishment and feelings of self-worth? So I asked myself, "What's the harm?" In the end, there wasn't any. There was no harm letting her parade her fancy hair at the electronics store. And no one ever laughed or said anything about the fancy hairdo. I doubt anyone thought a thing of it.

I recently had the chance to visit with a life-long friend and meet his beautiful family. Their three year old showed up wearing one sneaker and one sandal (in the snow). Did I think he was weird or his parents were too liberal? Not in the least. I thought it was cute!

It's taken almost 12 years of parenting to learn to let some things go - fancy hair and all!