J’s got a busy week this week, including two different dress-up occasions.

Once upon a time, my children liked to wear dresses. That was long, long ago. We had years of princess stuff and pink and sparkles, and at the time, I wondered if we’d ever come out on the other side of the Princess Era. I welcomed the evolution away from pink and into it rightful successor, turquoise. Don’t ask me why this is true, but that’s how it goes. First it is pink and then it’s turquoise, possibly some purple, and then they transition into basic blue and green, and finally into neutral. Or that’s how it’s been for my two girls in a row. And I swear that these preferences are not all because of hand-me-downs.

Anyway, the dress era passed, and it’s been a good seven or eight years since my kids have worn dresses willingly on any occasion that didn’t absolutely require it. And even on those “absolutely required” occasions, it’s been a grudging acceptance, especially with M. Her taste is not at all trendy. At school it’s t-shirts and jeans, and on special occasions, the dresses and skirts are pretty but very basic. Her bald head followed by a crew cut style also had its limitations, but even now that there’s hair to work with again, M shows little interest in actually styling her hair or putting on lip gloss or anything like that.

In a way, this has been a relief. I am sure that there are plenty of mothers who are tearing their hair out about their middle school daughters piling on tacky eyeliner and rolling the hems of their skirts up, and that is not a problem for me. On the other hand, it can be a bit frustrating to have a very attractive girl who seems to have very no interest in getting gussied up, like, ever.

For the most part, J has followed M’s lead. Which was fine.

And then, in the past week, J’s stance has changed a bit. She picked out some sandals to go with her new dress. M called them “a bold choice for a 10-year-old.” I reminded M that J is 11, thank-you-very-much, and that her style choices were none of M’s business. Then I thanked her for holding that comment until she was out of J’s earshot. Because J was adorable, modeling her outfit, practicing walking in heels, pondering her hair options. The other day she asked me to curl her hair, which is something M has never, ever expressed any interest in. And while there’s that little twinge of sorrow knowing that it seems to be our collective lot in life to pine for what we do not have, with straight-haired girls wishing for curls and thick-haired girls wishing for fine hair, beyond that little twinge, it was also just plain fun to do J’s hair. Finally! I get to play with somebody’s hair.

So I’m kind of excited to see how J’s middle school years shape up.

dress up




  1. Sunny Savannah

    She is wonderful! Can’t wait to see the pictures from the awards event at school!

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