So I have a quirky oldest child. Well, they’re both “quirky”; they’re mine so there’s just no escaping it. She is very particular about her clothing and always has been. She likes her shoes laced up tightly, she doesn’t mind when shirts are too small and she absolutely can’t stand blue jeans. I’ve tried very hard to find her jeans that we can agree on. Most recently, it was elastic waist Old Navy jeans. They were $30 a pair. What can I say? I’m rather cheap. If I’m going to buy her really nice jeans, we’ll shop a trendy, second-hand store and pay a fraction of the price for her to refuse to wear said really nice jeans. At Old Navy, I thought we’d found the answer in the zipper-less, button-less, elasticized waist jeans. I bought them in 3 colors. So far, the weeknight evenings are filled with promises of wearing the jeans while the mornings are filled with excuses not to wear them, followed by a meltdown (usually on her part, sometimes on mine) and a raiding of clothes baskets and hampers for the athletic pants.
Often times at parent pickup after school, I find myself searching the sea of middle schoolers and racking my brain to recall which outfit we settled on. This has become my challenge for myself as a 40+ woman with an aging brain. What if she were abducted? I’d like to think that eventually I would be able to provide the authorities with an accurate description of my child on that particular day.
It reminds me of my driver’s license. When I got my first license, I showed it to my mother. She said, “You actually told them your real weight? No one does that, Meg.” My mother and father are a couple of the most honest people you’d ever meet. If my mom says it’s okay to lie about your weight, consider me 40-50 pounds lighter! And so with my license renewal, I corrected the DMV worker (with a straight face) my new weight.
I weighed less then. Over the years, it began to weigh on my conscience (pun intended) that my license was incorrect. When I’d see reports on television about people who’d been abducted, I wondered how their height and weight were determined. If someone kidnapped me, would they announce my license stats on the evening news? And if so, would a potential rescuer see me out in public with my kidnapper and think to him or herself, “Nah! That can’t be her. That girl weighs like 40-50 pounds more that what they said on the news.” I would not be rescued and I’d only have myself to blame for it.
On the advice of my mother, I bought my daughter several pairs of the athletic pants that she is comfortable in. I hope that one day she will find some nice jeans or slacks that she is comfortable in just as I hope that one day I will actually weigh what my license declares that I weigh.