The Girl Who Wore Three Pairs of Socks

This is what my daughter wore to her first day of 1st grade: Exactly THREE pairs of different colored socks, each pair INSIDE-OUT, stuffed into her “fancy” shoes, black leggings, a headband around her waist as a makeshift belt, and a colorful striped dress on top.

And oh, let’s not forget the bright pink BATHING SUIT she is wearing under all that jazz.

Why would I let my child dress like that on the first day of school, you ask? Because this ain’t my first rodeo.

She is my third and youngest child, arriving nine years after my first, when I was close to 40. And I’ve found that one of the benefits of being an “older” mom is that you definitely learn to pick your battles.

Because as anyone with a strong-willed child knows, there are SO many battles.

She is my free spirit kid, a leader who marches to her own beat.

Unlike me, she loves fashion and has been assembling her own outfits since she was two. She doesn’t want to copy the trends, she wants to set them. And I love that about her.

Her eccentric outfits and hair styles sometimes warrant looks from strangers at the grocery store.

With my older kids, I would have been overly concerned with what people thought.

Did they think I was a bad mom for letting my child walk around like that? That I was lazy or over-indulgent? Perhaps.

But with parenting experience comes a little bit of confidence. I know I’m a good mom, my kids know I’m a good mom, and that’s all that matters.

How I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that.

Who knows, this kid could grow up to be a famous fashion designer, all because I gave her the freedom to parade around town like a modern-day Punky Brewster.

I want my daughter to grow up with all the confidence I never had at her age. I think my job as her mom is to let her light shine…in all its sparkly, mismatched glory. And to not let anyone else dim it.

Now the battles that I do pick? The ones that really matter? Those times, I make sure I stand my ground.

Other times, you do what you have to do to get your kid and her overstuffed fancy shoes out the door. 😊


strong willed daughter

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