Monday, April 26, 2010

Pickin' and Grinnin'...

Did ANYone see Abi's outfit at church Sunday? ANYONE?

Sunday was one of those days when I was so very glad I had decided that clothes will not be a battle I will fight with Abi.

For those of you not fortunate enough to experience her glamour, let me describe it for you.

First of all, you need to understand that Abi had friends over, and when the girls all emerged from her room, dressed for church, the two friends had on adorable outfits that were matching from head to toe.

And then Abi announced herself. "MOM! Look at this OUTFIT!"

She was wearing gray and white striped pajama bottoms. She was wearing a dress that she literally got when she was 3... This dress used to go down almost to her ankles. Now it barely covers her rear end. It's black, with pink, yellow, green, and blue polka dots ALL over it. And to complete the ensemble, she had me pull her hair into a pony tail and she adorned her head with a BRIGHT yellow headband. Oh, and let's not forget the silver glitter shoes.

Another mom saw her at church, looked at me, and gave me the "God help you, I understand" look.

But here's the thing. I had decided months ago that as long as her hiney, her chest, and her belly are covered, I will not argue with her about her clothes. (Oh, and for the record, she attends a charter school, where she wears uniforms everyday... but she wears yellow or pink leggings under the skirts in the winter and bright colored head bands in the hot months... that girl can't take monotony. Where DOES she get that from? *cough*)

Another battle I won't fight with her is the pajama battle. She won't wear them. Dora? Cinderella? Snow White ones? Nope. She'll take shorts and a t-shirt, thank you. And I'm not gonna argue.

I picked, and now I'm grinnin'.

See, before I had Abi, I would see those moms in Target who were dressed so nicely, and see their son wearing cowboy boots with swimming trunks and a sweat shirt in December, and I'd think, "There's no need for that!"

Then, God gave me Abigail.

I've taken her out in public wearing a Little Mermaid outfit, complete with fins, along with her pink cowboy boots and my old leg warmers. She has attended church with a Belle costume and flip flops. And let's not forget about the Sunday she wore a boot and a flip flop with her frilly blue dress.

But here's the deal. Yesterday, as she is standing in our kitchen, wearing this bizarre outfit, I asked her, "Are you gonna wear that to church?" She said, "Yes, ma'am." In that moment, I had little flashbacks from the last few days. Over the weekend, I saw her wrap her arms around a friend who was brokenhearted and crying, and console her. At an important meeting the other day, a business woman asked her if she would like a drink. Abi said, "Yes, ma'am. Coke, please." I remember two nights ago, hearing Rod call Abi, and hearing Abi respond, "What, sir?"

And I remembered that there are bigger fish to fry than mismatched clothes.

Don't get me wrong... she's not perfect. After all, she's my child, poor thing. But I have discovered that I'd much rather have a child whose clothes never match and has manners than a child who has no respect for others and is dressed like an Old Navy catalog model.

So, moms and dads... focus on what matters. Be armed before you step in and make a stand on something. Major on the majors, and minor on the minors. And most importantly, be ready to follow through if you commit to an issue. Are things like pajamas and flip flops worth the conflict? Nope. But things like rudeness and nastiness are.

One more piece of the puzzle in place. That's a small victory. ;-)

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