Thoughts on raising a teenage girl

It’s a blissful crisp and sunny October morning. I am at long last finally feeling like myself.  Infection after infection has made me weary…and full of antibiotics. Which I don’t like. I’m not a huge medicine fan.  I would rather take vitamins and drink water and avoid illness altogether.  Ehem… , unfortunately kidney infections do not respond kindly to being ignored.

But today, I am better. I am feeling like I can do something today, without a nap. I have cup of Earl Grey tea..decaffeinated of course! I have also had my breakfast of greek yogurt with peaches.  and I am thinking.

There are so many days that blur by  working, getting the kids to places, and following around the ‘busyness’ of the day, I forget to see that I am raising a teenage girl.   Her brother has left this year for college.

Yesterday, Katy and I were off together. She is on fall break, (I swear school just started!)  so getting her out of the house and doing something was a big goal for me. So off we went, in search of a halloween costume.

I’m going on record as this, I HATE HALLOWEEN.  I didn’t particularly care for it as a child, and as a mother, I really dread it. Costumes and candy that the majority of it, my kids couldn’t have. Holidays are particularly brutal for kids with food allergies, none more brutal than Halloween, when you have a peanut and soy allergy.  Do you have any idea of how many candies rely on soy lecithin to stay edible?  And how many combinations of peanuts and chocolate there are in the United States?    However, my kids have survived and grown. They realize that not eating chocolate is not the end of the world, nor is it worth feeling sick over.

Costumes on the other hand, have not improved with age.  Nor have my sewing skills, in creating such costumes.  So Katy and I headed out to the store. She said she had seen a cute bumble bee costume.  In my mind, I’m thinking great! It’s not scary, slutty or too mature for her.  I mean it’s a bumble bee!  What can they do to a bumblebee?  I had to ask.  One of the versions of the bumble bee costume was  black and yellow striped hot pants, stiletto heels, and a black & yellow corset, stinger and antennae included for the bargain price of $39.99.    Ummm…I don’t think so Katy.  She’s looking at it, and seeing the cute girl on the package.  The cute girl looks like she’s 26 or so.

So I declined to purchase the outfit for her, and she huffs indignantly to the car.  So we have to talk about what is appropriate… and one of her favorite lines, “Mom,  I’m basically 13!” with all the indignation that an almost 13 year old can summon up.  So we talk.  Rather I talk..and try to make her understand that I am not upset with her, or her choice, but that she does not have the option to wear things like that.   We seem to have to go through this, every time we clothing shop.

The sellers of clothing in this country have forgotten that not everyone is a aspiring Hollywood starlet who likes to appear in pages of magazines.  We have a heck of a time finding shirts that are not too scoop necked, jeans that don’t hover dangerously on hipbones,  shorts that are a waste of fabric.  Katy is a typical 12, (excuse me)  basically 13 year old.  She likes jeans, she’s most comfortable in her volleyball clothes,  and her converse sneakers or flip flops.

So we proceed on to the next store.  We see a lady bug costume in two forms, slutty or cute.  Guess which one we bought?  She will be adorable in her cute ladybug costume.  With a black long sleeved t-shirt and leggings, with net wings, her round lady bug costume is perfect. She looks like an almost 13 year old is supposed to look like.

I find it sad and disturbing that our daughters have difficulty finding modest clothing, that ‘skinny’ is always better than normal, and that the clothing designers keep pushing clothing styles on an age group that it doesn’t belong.

Watching her shop yesterday, I am struck by how much she has changed just in the past two months, she is growing comfortable and aware of her body. She still has moments of awkwardness, but she’s growing up so quickly.  I only hope that my words about modesty and wearing clothes that are comfortable and classy sink into her brain somewhere.  Less is not always more…especially in clothing.




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