I think all first time parents realize that the world as they have known it will never be the same after the birth of their new little one. Suddenly you see the world in a new way.
Three and a half years into my role as “mommy,” my life has taken a turn that I would NEVER have imagined.
Prior to my daughter, I could have cared less about clothes and fashion. Don’t get me wrong. I look presentable, but fashion has never been something I have ever cared about. Give me jeans and a t and Iam good to go. So imagine my utter surprise when at the lovely age of 1 my daughter was THRILLED to enter a shoe department. We thought it was cute. “How funny! A one year old loves shoes.” She would empty out the shoes and try and put them on her feet. We thought it was a stage. She was 1 after all. By age two, she was putting delightful outfits together . . . for me! And everyone couldn’t help but notice, she did a really good job. She has an eye. So by age three, I actually consult my daughter before I leave for a night out with my husband. When I went out for World Wide Marriage Encounter’s World Marriage Day Dinner (how’s that for a title?) my daughter told me “Uh, no mommy. The skirt? Doesn’t work.” And the thing is, she was right!
Initially I was really uncomfortable with the idea of my daughter loving clothes and shoes! I don’t want to foster a materialistic, shallow environment in my home. But then as I thought about it I realized it is really more an appreciation of beauty that she has. The way she mixes and matches clothes is beautiful! I would NEVER have imagined the combination of red sparkly shoes with a purple skirt and yet . . . it works! She has taken me from renting documentaries on how the genocide continues to happen in Sudan, to watching the world of beauty on Project Runway.
I started renting Project Runway to better understand my daughter, who spends HOURS making up combinations of outfits in her room. My girlfriend who dabbles in watercolors encourages me to put her in art classes. And while my family of musicians has never produced a painter, I figure “why not?” In the meantime, my daughter and I watch Project Runway together and I ask her her opinion on the clothes. Her outfits always win!
My challenge will be to encourage her expressions of beauty while keeping her balanced.