Repost from 8.21.11:
The whole summer my # 2 has been obsessed with getting a pink pair of Chuck Taylor’s. She has begged, plead and asked a gazillion times for them. My mind kept flashing back to when she was 2 and I thought buying a pair of white Chuck Taylor’s for all the family would be a great idea. My guy and #1 refused to wear them and only donned them once to appease my flabbing mouth. I wore mine and tossed them out with the garage sale pile. Only to find myself wishing I had kept them. But # 2 she adored them. However, every time she wore them she ended up with skinned knees and hurt elbows. I am not sure if it was the rubbery bottom or what but she always managed to snag her feet and land face first. I went out of my way to hide them. For the next few years she eyeballed #1′s in hopes she could squeeze her feet in them once she grew up enough. I chucked them in the garage sale pile to her disappointment.
Now make that fast forward sound to the end of her 1st grade year and she started going on and on about having a pair. She would see some in the store and just go nuts. I shushed her away and told her she needed something more practical. You won’t wear them. She is so funny about the way shoes feel that I was convinced it would never work. Well folks, she wore me down! Yesterday I finally bought her second pair of Chuck Taylor’s in pink.
We get home from shoe store and she goes running back to her room and picks out the most hideous (to me) socks. They are knee high black background with peace, hearts and squiggly’s all over them and neither sock matches the other and add this to her mismatched clothes and two different earrings and she was ahh…looking unique. She is all proud that she finally has these long sought after shoes and has created the perfect outfit to go with it. She says, “Mom, this is just the look I wanted to make.” I was in a hurry because we were headed to hospital and before I thought about what I said I blurted out, “Honey, now is not the time for that kind of style.” That is the funny thing about # 2. The more mismatched and hideous the better for her. She likes it that way. She actually remembers most of life by her clothes. She has an uncanny sense categorizing her life by what she wears. She ran back and threw on some plain white socks and a regular ol’ outfit and said nothing.
Once we were driving I realized I just crushed a tiny bit of her individuality. We didn’t hear loud sirens going off telling me what a pushover I was being and she didn’t throw some big tantrum to remind me. Instead, I taught her how to fit into society’s norms and not be who she is as if it were something to be corrected. And frankly, I hate that. I am always so envious of those people that can branch out and wear those crazy socks like no one cares. What I like most about those people is that they don’t care. They could care less what others think. So shame on me for telling her there was something wrong with the way she looked. Especially for something as silly as a visit to the hospital that would have surely made her grandma smile if she saw those crazy socks.
Sometimes it is hard with # 2. I am pretty laid back, demure, quiet and plain jane kind of gal. You know the khaki, sage green sandal kind of person. #2 is the furthest thing from that, so I gotta try and let her be. She doesn’t have to be that image of who I think she should be because really I just want her to be who she is. The crazy sock, mismatched clothes and two different earring wearing girl in pink converse. I want her to be what I often do not have the courage to be. I hope by allowing her to be that person I somehow manage to find a little bit of my own girl in the mismatched clothes, crazy socks and two different different earring wearing girl in pink converse.