Some Letting Go... (Clothing Edition)

Audrey in her (self selected) Tea Collection duds...

A couple of months ago, the folks at Tea Collection asked if I'd like to select a few pieces of their girl's clothing and then share them with you guys. It took me about 1.5 seconds to accept, as we've long been big Tea Collection fans. In fact, Tea is Bryan's mom's go-to when she wants to buy clothes for the girls... it's incredibly durable, the prints are super cute and everything matches (like a hipper take on Garanimals).

But rather than just picking out some basics for the girls, I thought I'd use the opportunity to practice some "letting go" in the form of Audrey's wardrobe... engage in a little B+ parenting if you will.

Now here's the thing. Audrey is my practical one. In terms of clothing, she likes comfort above all. She likes to feel cozy and understated. Audrey's wardrobe predilections have a sort of (I'm about to go out on a major limb and make all sorts of far-fetched correlations between sartorial choices and life paths, but just go with me here...) "Woman's Studies major at Wellesley headed to the Peace Corps post-graduation" vibe. Or in simpler terms, she just has bigger fish to fry than what she's wearing.

To that end, 99% of the time, she asks me to pick her clothes. (Millie, on the other hand, has a very, very strong opinion about what she wears and wants me to have pretty much nothing to do with the process, but that's another post for another day.) It's only very recently that Audrey has started to voice an opinion about what she wears, or want to go shopping and pick things out on her own. And herein lies the problem. I've become extremely comfortable being "the decider" in her sartorial matters. It works for me. I like it. Which, for her decision making development, is not such a good thing.

So my plan was to let her be totally in control on the Tea thing. I pulled up the website for her, explained roughly how many pieces she should select and encouraged her to avoid shorts and sundresses (since she'd be wearing the things to school in the cooler months). And then I stepped back. (Actually I left the room completely... I know myself friends. Had I stayed in the room, I couldn't have resisted input. It's just my way.)

When she called me back in to "review" her selections, I was oh so close to making a gentle "suggestion" or two, but I resisted, with the single exception of asking why she had picked the exact same dress in two different colors, to which she replied, "because I like it." Um, duh.

But clothing selections aside, she had all sorts of big girl pride as a result of the exercise. She wears her picks non-stop and with mad confidence and a sort of sense of ownership... It's really sweet to watch.

This letting go, it's a lovely and bittersweet thing, yes?


saltandpine said...

Good job, mama! Yes, it is a lovely and bittersweet thing. I am going through the same thing with my kids and I often screw up and let out my opinion, to tell you the truth. But I'm still trying...
Thank you for the continued inspiration to do so. :)

Christian said...

a GREAT reminder! And she did good -- those pics are fab!

keepfeeling said...

joslyn, this made my heart melt. letting go is indeed both lovely and bittersweet. i feel like this post was sort of a metaphor for my life. : )
xo joanna

nicole said...

bittersweet indeed.

nkp said...

So bittersweet. But, I bet, the apple does not fall far from the tree and with a stylish mama like you, Audrey's sartorial prowess is a sure thing.