I was preparing to attend church on Saturday night. As I was applying mascara to my left eye, my 10 year old, who I now look UP to, teetered into the bathroom. I noted her attire in the bathroom mirror, while nearly blinding myself with my mascara wand.
She was wearing her official church t-shirt (as she was to be serving on the children’s worship team), short blue jean short shorts, and black fur-topped go-go boots.
“You look like Nancy Sinatra.”
“Who is Nancy Sinatra?”
I then launched into my diatribe on what is appropriate church attire, especially considering she would be up on the stage, acting as a role model to the children in the audience.
“But MOM! I used to wear these shorts to church ALL THE TIME! And besides, IT’S HOT OUTSIDE.”
Which was true. When she was 9. Before she grew 12 INCHES in the span of a year. Making her already long legs look like those of a gazelle. And then the addition of the high heeled go-go boots, well, as you might imagine, I put my stubby foot down.
After some tears (not mine, this time) some raised voices (okay, mine) and a very firm BECAUSE I SAID SO (me again) she was finally dressed in appropriate jeans and flats. Plus a camo jacket just to be make certain that I knew SHE WAS NOT HAPPY.
At about the same time, the 12 year old, who is on the brink of teenage-hood, came breezing by holding a pair of short shorts in her hand. She is also in possession of gazelle legs and stands towering over me by a good 3 inches.
I sent her back in the same direction, with a very firm edict that no one is ever allowed to wear short shorts to church. Yes, I know this is Florida, AND EVERYONE DOES IT, but I have just drawn the line in the sand, and no one had better cross me.
Later I called my dad and apologized for my pre-teenaged attire and for the time that he had to pick me up from class because I wore black hip huggers slit up to my upper thighs to middle school. As you might guess, he is completely enjoying my current predicament. Especially since it is times two.
Modesty and the lack thereof is a constant heated discussion in our house. But Fiddledaddy has finally hit upon a cure.
We have banned string bikinis from the girl’s swim wear drawer. On the way to the beach today, Emme and her father were embroiled in the tired discussion once more. Because he is an excellent orator, he posed the question to her, “Why do you want to wear a string bikini?”
Her answer, “Because they are more comfortable.”
I happen to know that this is a lie from the pit of hell, because I wore my share of string bikinis in my youth, and I was constantly fishing it out of various body parts, not to mention the need to double knot the top so that nothing important was free to flap in the breeze. Comfortable they are not.
Fiddledaddy paused, “Okay then, if it is indeed more comfortable, like you say, I think I’LL wear a bikini to the beach.”
She went ashen. Evidently fighting the visual threatening to burn her retinas.
“NO WAY, DAD! THAT’S GROSS.”
He countered, “Why? Too much skin?”
“YES! YOU WOULD BE SHOWING TOO MUCH SKIN!”
“My point exactly. But if it’s more comfortable, and if it’s good enough for you, I will do it too.”
When he came home and told me of the exchange, I thought it was a brilliant plan.
So much so that I’ve decided to get in on the action and threaten to purchase myself a fluorescent string bikini. One size too small.
And I’ll be borrowing the 10 year olds black fur lined go-go boots.
Thus solidifying our family’s need for the group rate at our next therapy session. But at least we’ll all be more comfortable.
Some day I look forward to those weekly apologies from my children when they have children of their own. I just hope I live long enough to answer the phone.