When I was younger I loved coming home from school to find little surprises my mom might leave for me on my bed. So today I smiled as I left new shorts for our older daughter. I picked them up while she was in school as she needed new ones, and I thought she’d be thrilled with the floral embroidery. Her new favorite spring trend.
“Thanks, mom,” she said half-heartedly. I asked if she didn’t like them and she assured me she did. “But everyone else wears short shorts. Why can’t I?"
Ah. So we’re here. I didn’t think we’d get to the “everyone else” phase until cell phones or cars were being discussed.
“Well, we aren’t everyone else," I told her. "I’m sorry you’re disappointed, but those shorts are spectacular! I wish they made them in my size.” I tried to make a joke but she wasn’t buying it.
I know what she’s talking about too. Her friends sometimes come home with us from school in itty-bitty cut off jean shorts. And we see them even shorter at stores — you know, where you can see actual butt cheeks. Yeah, sorry, not happening.
I get it, she wants to fit in, but she’s NINE. School isn’t a fashion runway, it’s a place to learn. And while we appreciate her individuality, and don't want her to feel ashamed of her body, we simply don’t want her bum exposed.
I’m not sure what the designers were thinking when they came up with Daisy Dukes for kids, but why so young? We won’t be buying them, not for the foreseeable future anyway.
I felt bad later in the evening and questioned my judgment. It's so hard as a parent when you come to new milestones and have to rely on your intuition. So I asked my husband, "Am I limiting her individuality? Am I being a hypocrite and not allowing her to be who she wants to be?"
“No,” he said, “you’re making sure her underwear isn’t showing.”
So we decided together that she can wear shorter shorts to the beach, or for hanging out, but not at school. Let’s stop pressuring our kids to grow up so fast. Let's stop asking them to look and act like adults. Let’s let them be little.
And please let’s keep their fannies covered.