My oldest daughter is 12 years old and she is amazing. She is smart, beautiful, funny, and outgoing. She loves to sing Broadway show tunes and read books. She also still loves to play! She would probably die if she knew I said this, but last weekend she had a couple of girlfriends over to spend the night and the next day they were outside playing The Hunger Games. I loved it! She was using her imagination, playing dress up (although she would never admit that it was dress up!) and pretended our front yard was the arena for the games.
I share all of this because somehow she came to the age where I cannot comment on her clothes. I can comment on everything else (“Gee, Julia, I really like how you used your bow and arrow to kill the tribute from District 8 out there!”) but her clothes are now off limits. The other day, Julia wore some pants that I felt were too tight, but, unbeknownst to me, momma had already taken care of it. Here’s how it went down:
Dad: “Julia, those pants are too tight.”
Julia: “I know, mom already told me.” (Julia skulks off to change)
Mom: (walking up) “I already took care of it.”
Dad: “Good, but I just wanted to say that I don’t like those pants.”
Mom: “You can’t tell her that.”
Dad: (flabbergasted) “But, YOU told her that YOU didn’t like them.”
Mom: “I know, but you can’t tell her that…all you are supposed to say is – ‘Julia, you are beautiful. That’s all she ever needs to hear from you.’”
Now, I’m not a tyrant about clothes, in fact, I think I’m pretty easy going (unless said clothing shows too much shoulder or belly or leg or is too tight or too short or is a two-piece bathing suit), but when did I lose the ability to share what I want my daughter to wear? When she was younger I did a pretty fair job of color coordinating when I was in charge of her wardrobe!
It’s just another sign that Julia is slowly becoming a woman. So I have my marching orders – “Julia, you are beautiful! Whether you are playing The Hunger Games outside or fighting with mom over clothing. You are beautiful when you sing songs from Wicked or when you are kicking ass at National History Day at MTSU. You are beautiful when you use me as a pillow like you did last night while we watched the Oscars or when you are talking about your Christian faith with our Children’s Director like you did Sunday morning. You are an amazing, beautiful woman, Catnip, and I will always be proud to be your father.”
But could you please wear a one-piece bathing suit at the beach this summer?