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Underdressed And STRESSED!

When will Good Enough Mother learn?

It’s the end of the school year and that means recital time. Casey is in orchestra in school and the girls always wear dainty white tops with black skirts or pants. Simple enough.

Cole is in band but not just in band, he’s the drummer, which earns him extra cool points. Tonight was his recital. When I asked him what he should wear, he said Mr. Posner said they could wear whatever they wanted, as long as it looked professional. Okay, I buy that, besides, it’s band – aren’t they the rebels?

He chose the one polo shirt he owns (tainted blue from being washed with jeans) and he paired it with reversible basketball shorts. He assured me that other children would be sporting similar looks. It was hot and nearly summer and it looked professional enough to me.


Underdressed and STRESSED! When will Good Enough Mother learn?

It’s the end of the school year and that means recital time. Casey is in orchestra in school and the girls always wear dainty white tops with black skirts or pants. Simple enough.

Cole is in band but not just in band, he’s the drummer, which earns him extra cool points. Tonight was his recital. When I asked him what he should wear, he said Mr. Posner said they could wear whatever they wanted, as long as it looked professional. Okay, I buy that, besides, it’s band – aren’t they the rebels?

He chose the one polo shirt he owns (tainted blue from being washed with jeans) and he paired it with reversible basketball shorts. He assured me that other children would be sporting similar looks. It was hot and nearly summer and it looked professional enough to me.

Fast forward to the performance. Do you think there were other kids there with basketball shorts on? No. Were there any other kids there with polo shirts? No.  Did anyone else have on basketball shorts? No. Anyone else without a tie? No.

I fretted for a minute and thought about asking one of the daddies in the audience if I could borrow his tie (this wouldn’t have been an issue if Cole’s own daddy didn’t have to work late, thereby missing the recital) then it hit me. R-E-L-A-X! So one recital he’s not dressed appropriately. Besides he’s hidden in the back behind the drums. But the thing that really struck me was that I was sitting there, fretting over what was essentially a non-issue and not enjoying my son’s hard work over the year.

That angst is borne of the fear we all have, that we’re different from the others, we’re not doing it right or that our child is a reflection of us and it’s a poor one. Enough. My son IS different from everyone else and trust me, it’s not because he was in a polo shirt.  I have said it before, I’ll say it again, there is no right way, only the way I know and so far I’ve done okay feeling my way through the dark that is modern motherhood. My son’s manners are a reflection of his parents, but his clothing choices, well that’s on him.

After that self-talk, I was able to let go and relax. I allowed myself to really listen to the music and revel in the fact that my non-conformist son is becoming quite a musical talent.

Has this ever happened to you? Do you worry about what your kids are wearing? And what did you do? I’d love to hear your stories…

1 Comment

  1. David Freeman

    July 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Good for you for talking yourself off the ledge. There ARE so many important things that get overlooked in life, especially when trying to conform to the rules of society, but this was not one of them! And we all deal with conformist pressures and other societal impetus for us to homogenize. I say its the tint of bacteria that ads a little flavor and makes us each who weare, a little different, therefore making society larger and more interesting. Cole was being who he was. It was the music that mattered, not the tie.

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