Audrey wearing outfits I picked out for her...
I had a bit of a "break-through" mothering moment a few days ago, and it felt sort of well...epic.
It occurred when Audrey and I were at the store exchanging a couple of dresses that didn't fit her quite right for some new summer clothes. My normal M.O. when we shop together is to grab some things I think she'll like (but are really things that I like) and send her into the dressing room to try them on. She has the illusion of control, as she's picking her favorites from my pre-approved selection. It's a pretty fool-proof system.
But this time, things were different the minute we walked into the store. She immediately started browsing, caressing fabrics, pondering skirts. There was no acting nutty or darting between the racks. It was serious, all business. She was shopping. And upon seeing her shopping around like a totally mature young lady, I was thrown-off my game (or I could have been hungry, as when I'm hungry I get all low-blood sugarish and light-headed, resulting in all sorts of ill-advised decisions), and before I knew it, I was suggesting she pick out a few things to try on -- on her own.
There was no going back. She was flush with power. She started handing me things in rapid succession -- a pair of pastel/metallic madras shorts, a bright turquoise skirt emblazoned with hot pink and orange peace signs and hearts, a t-shirt sporting a picture of a dog.
Seriously if you had asked me to pick out the three things in that particular store that I would never buy for her, I would have selected the exact three items that she was about to try on.
I knew this was one of those defining moments (like my response would somehow set the stage for every future mother/daughter shopping trip and clothing negotiation -- remember I was hungry), so I bit my tongue (hard) and let her roll with it.
There was also the fact that she seemed to really have an opinion about the clothes in question. Up to this point, Audrey has been pretty mellow in the fashion department (Millie is a whole different story...let's just say that kid knows what she likes sartorially), her only requirement being that she doesn't look "crazy" (her words) and that it's comfortable. In fact, 99% of the time, she just asks me to pick out something for her to wear. My disdain for her selections were tempered a bit by her learning to suss out what she liked -- an important process that I didn't want to squash. I'm building confidence here friends, fostering creativity...right? right?
That's what I'm going with the first day she wears those madras shorts. Wish me luck.