When I was born, my parents were given a great sleeper, an amazing eater, and an overall happy baby. The only downside? I was as ornery as I am now. Maybe even more so. I was set in my ways from birth and one of my favorite things to do was to dress myself. Or to not dress myself at all. I was a famous child streaker back in the day who went to great lengths to not wear clothes anywhere I went. On more than one occasion, I would strip down to nothing quicker than my parents could stop me. Not only did I streak but I was sneaky when I did it. There’s no way to count the endless number of pictures of me in the buff. Well, this post is definitely not about my joining a nudist colony or me posting pictures of these embarrassing tidbits of my childhood. It’s mainly about how my parents let me be “me”. They never tried to pressure this fake person to come out of me or exist in an atmosphere where I didn’t thrive. Did this mean they let me run around naked everywhere we went? No, thank God no. But they did allow me to be creative in other areas of my life and one of these areas was in how I dressed. I want to give Emma this same experience my parents gave me.
During my early years, I had a role model named Clarissa. I loved this show and even more so, I loved her funky look with mismatching clothes and neon tights. I wore this outfit a couple times and absolutely loved it and thought I was for sure the coolest kid on the block.
I also loved my Halloween costumes. My favorite one of all time was when I dressed up as Rainbow Brite. There was nothing that could stop me, my lego sword, and my faithful horse (thanks, dad!). One of mom’s friends made this outfit for her daughter and let us borrow it for Halloween when she outgrew it. I’m pretty sure I wore this costume for 2-3 years as my Halloween attire, and then at least once a week in between holidays.
A good game of dress up was a regular. I had play clothes that I wore on a regular basis and one in particular that fit me for several years. I wore it when mom and I would have tea parties. I wore it when we had fancy dinners. I wore it when I sang Whitney Houston to Nan and Pop when they came down to visit. If ever an outfit paid for itself, this was the one. Erick wore this outfit a couple times, too, when I forced him to dress up. Sorry I don’t have a picture of this. I couldn’t get out of mom and dad’s house with that one .
Also, what child can go without a cute rain jacket? My mouse one was my absolute favorite! When you would squeeze the ears it would squeak like a mouse. How awesome! As a two year old, this totally rocked my world. Notice that it also got a lot of use. It didn’t need to be raining for this child to enjoy her raincoat. Rain or shine, this thing was put to good use. After I grew out of it, Erick wore it regularly, too. Like I said- what kid DOESN’T love squeaky mouse ears?
Lastly, what child could go without some stylin 80’s sunglasses? Not this one. Even once the lenses fell out, I still wore these bad boys. Apparently, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because Emma is a lover of sunglasses, too. There were so many pictures with these on, but I decided to just pick one. You tell I was pure entertainment to my parents as a child. What can I say, I was an awesome kid!
You know what my parents did about all this? Nothing. They let me wear it. I was embracing who I was as a child and not harming anyone along the way. I look back and think about how crazy I was but also look back and see a child who had FUN. A child who LOVED LIFE. A child whose parents embraced every part of this and joined along with me in this journey.
What are doing for your child that your parents showed you first?