In 2005, we had the privilege of having four, yes four, count them, teenagers in our house at one time. We thought it would be cool having six kids close in age so they’d be friends. Even if we’d done the math and calculated we’d have teenagers for almost 20 years in a row, two or more teens the majority of those years, we wouldn’t have changed anything. We just might have prepared ourselves a little more for the changes ahead.
When the girls outgrew wearing Mommy-chosen clothes and wanted to express their own personalities with clothes that were actually in style, it was painful for both sides of the generation gap. Those years of adorable matching outfits sewn by Mommy were definitely over. They had to wean Mommy from her expectation that her daughters would love her 80’s high-waisted, put-your-socks-on-first jeans.
Daddy, who loved his lovely daughters, but didn’t want the boys to notice how lovely they were, squawked like a good Daddy about their clothes. He would have preferred black garbage bags or burlap sacks, because his daughters were his treasures – treasures he wanted to keep buried.
After several discussions, we came to a family understanding. We didn’t want set rules, because rules stir up theRomans 7 desire to break the rules. We didn’t demand denim skirts and tennis shoes, but we didn’t want them to dress like Hollywood starlets. We came up with guidelines. Their clothes had to pass a few inspectors along the way.
1. The Lord – were they God-honoring? We tried to instill in our daughters that as Christians they belong to Him and their life decisions should reflect that. We gave them to opportunity to make wise decisions based on their own faith and conscience.
2. The parents – could we stand their choices? We didn’t have to like their clothes, but we couldn’t hate them. We gave them leeway to choose and relieved them from the expectation of looking like us. However, if their conscience didn’t guide them enough, we had veto power.
Daddy’s wisdom in discussing until we came up with guidelines that pleased everyone paved the way for an easier transition into those years of raising teenagers. We were encouraged to see the tasteful, stylish clothes the girls chose in their freedom. They were so good, they started picking out my clothes and providing guidelines for clothes that are flattering and appropriate for my age. I dressed them when they were young, now they return the favor.
In 2005, several years after the monumental Introduction of Modern Styles into our household, Daddy still wasn’t convinced about low-rider jeans. Usually a seriously minded Office kinda’ guy, the hubbster is known for having occasional outlandish moments that the kids talk about for years and years.
The kids laugh themselves breathless then exclaim, “Oh, Dad, you’re SO ridiculous!”
He decided to prove how ridiculous low-riders were by trying on our oldest daughter’s jeans.
In front of the whole family.
On Thanksgiving Day.
Not knowing someday I’d be a blogger and reveal all.
After tugging and pulling and giggling, he got them up this far. (Maybe hubby was the style inspiration for teenage boys?)
Like today’s teenage boys, he found they had to be peeled off.
But, he wasn’t young and agile, he was an old man losing his balance. He humbly begged for help so he wouldn’t fall and break a hip.
My early digital camera was poor quality, but the blur proves we were busting a gut.
Maybe Toddler Baby is wondering if she should hide her clothes from daddy. Maybe she’s wondering if he’s going to try on her clothes when she’s a teenager.
Maybe she’s wondering if she even wants to become a teenager.
This episode only proved one thing – it wasn’t the jeans that were ridiculous.
My children have always declared they have The World’s Most Ridiculous Dad.
As they mature, they peel off the memories of their Dad’s ridiculousness and see his wisdom underneath. It’s then they finally understand how treasured they are.