The Swimsuit Edition
Something very special changed for us this summer. We bought our first girl’s swim suit.
In the early years, both kids wore full body sun block swim wear! The boy and I still do. But we’re boys! The little lady isn’t so little anymore, and by last fall, I knew this would be the summer we went swim suit shopping in the ladies’ department. Thank goodness I had all winter to prepare for it! And let the record show that I did skip an entire era- we went straight from purchasing boys’ suits to women’s. It’s like skipping the entire DVD era. Seriously.
Many years ago, I worried about things like this being insurmountable. Would I be able to take her shopping? Of course I’d want to, but would I be helpful enough to make her want to take me along? I have a long and rocky history with the Fashion Police. Women’s clothing sizes are akin to complete chaos. There’s little rhyme or reason to the numbers. You’re more or less throwing darts blindfolded. Then add in the extra element of swimwear? Yeah you’re looking at a volatile situation there.
All relationships in our home are built on trust and respect. Little lady has two very good fellas in her life, but at the same time she’s the only lady in the house. It gets a bit testosteroney in here at times. Ladies have and need very specific boundaries. We respect her boundaries, and she trusts us. She trusts our boundaries, and we respect her. If/when you were a little girl, did you hope that your Dad and your brother would take you swim suit shopping? Probably not. Saturday morning, little lady reminded us that our to-do list for the day included (started with) swimsuit shopping. Cowboy(s) up.
Sometimes I wonder if the boy is just immune to socially awkward situations by nature, or if he’s become numb to them through many years of exposure. In any case, he seemed far more comfortable in the hallway of the ladies’ dressing rooms than I was. Little lady has been old enough to try on her own clothes for many years now, but not so old that she doesn’t need help adjusting straps and/or asking my opinion of this or that fit… and my opinion is just that- an opinion. She knows how much leg she is or isn’t willing to show, how low the top can dip before it’s going back to the rack. I’m proud to say that I’ve played a role in teaching her many of those boundaries over the years, but they are now her decisions to make.
So I stood outside her dressing room, adjusted a couple of straps, offered opinions, and agreed unanimously when she found just the right one. It fits her perfectly… in fashion on the surface, in elegance complementing her character, and in comfort regarding her Daddy’s blood pressure. Not that I had any doubt that she’d make a good choice, but I did have grave concerns regarding how smoothly this shopping trip would go!
I remember when she started wearing more lady-like dresses after she went through the fantasy-fancy dress phase of toddlerhood. She had this proud glow that lets you know the lady is sprouting from the little girl, but that the little girl is the rich soil that the lady is growing in. She had that same proud glow when we went for our first dip in the pool to test the function of the new swimwear. Performed admirably, of course, as part of her selection process included the likelihood of top or bottom becoming unsecured in a dive, and therefore the ability to adjust the tension in the swimwear in all the right places was a requirement of anything she tried on. I suppose even a blindfolded dart player can hit the bull’s eye when she has excellent instincts and ample good sense…
I’m more or less rambling now, and I still haven’t managed to make the point I was trying to make. This wasn’t a chore, it was a privilege. It was a privilege that fate afforded me in return for a number of life events that didn’t quite go as planned. Sometimes, fate has far better planning skills than I do. Often, in fact…
All relationships in our home are built on trust and respect. She trusts that we will figure out (or at least bumble through with minimal complaints) the things we need to learn to help her along because we respect the needs she has as she becomes a lady. In return, she respects the men in her life enough to welcome us into her swimsuit shopping endeavors.
If I’m lucky, one day she’ll find herself a rough diamond out there among all that gravel, and he’ll trust and respect her so much that he’ll get some of these privileges too. I hope she won’t settle for anything less, in fact. Luck is great when you buy lottery tickets or toss darts blindfolded. I hope to leave luck out of it when it comes to my little lady knowing who to trust and respect, and how to know if they’re truly reciprocating those things…
Thank You, Baby. Your Bubba and I are learning more from you than you could possibly ever imagine…
Cheers from The www.ThreeFiveZero.com Cowboys