Black shiny shoes and a floppy purple hat

Ayda

Ayda

When my daughter posted this picture today of my granddaughter, my first reaction was this huge smile, followed by out-loud laughter, and then of course the missing her. I made some quip about someone having dressed herself again. I’ll be the first to admit that I feel somewhat obligated to match and dress seasonally appropriate and somewhat stylish (at least enough not to embarrass my children).

This precious image stayed in my head as I put away the left-overs and took a shower. She had obviously dressed herself and was sauntering along outside, looking very content with her choices. Oh, the innocence of children!

It made me wonder. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be so nonchalant about how we look? What if we were confident to choose what we wear with reckless abandon, never a thought about what others opinions may be and no wondering if we are committing a major fashion fax pas?

My mom used to refer to the poem “Warning”, by Jenny Joseph, more widely known as, “When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”. She would say, “When I get old, I’m going to do, say, wear whatever I want”. My mom didn’t get the chance although she was never swayed by public opinion and said pretty much whatever she wanted to.

My mom went to heaven at a mere 49 years old. I think if she had something to say on the topic she would most definitely say that her great granddaughter, Ayda, has it all figured out.

It’s okay to wear black patent shiny shoes, sans socks and tights, with a Disney dress and a floppy purple Easter hat, and strut like you own the world while you’re doing it!

Gone are the matching bows

Ribbons'n'Bows

Ribbons’n’Bows (Photo credit: starryeyez024)

I remember years ago, the day after Thanksgiving was the day for putting up my perfect tree.  There would be matching ornaments, bows, ribbons, tree skirt, you name it and it was beautiful.  I was extremely proud and looked forward to all the compliments I would receive on my fabulous tree.

I don’t remember what year it was exactly when my mother in law passed on some words of wisdom. Just FYI, she is a good mother in law and I love her very much.  She has provided me with wonderful advice many times over the years.  She told me that the Christmas tree should be filled with decorations that children would enjoy.  I don’t remember her exact words, but she let me know that she would prefer my tree be covered in whimsical, frivolous, not necessarily matching ornaments AND the kids should help do the decorating.  This was monumental for me; this was my thing and surely they would mess it up.  If my memory is correct, I heeded her recommendation that very year.  When the time came for the kids and I to decorate the tree, I had to bite my lip to refrain from telling them exactly where to put each decoration.  I’m sure I failed in that regard plenty of times and one of my kids will probably hasten to remind me of this. They are also aware that not all of their home made ornaments made it on the tree.  And, I know I still had issues with how the tinsel was applied.  It really does need to go on ONE strand at a time, you know?  But, all in all we enjoyed every minute of it and looked forward to doing it together.

Of course, as my mother in law already knew, the kids would enjoy this so much more and from then on every year I let them pick a few more.  Sometimes they would pick one to express their love of a favorite sport, or another interest, sometimes just because it was cute, but it was always fun to watch them choose.  I still have most of them and continue to use them, which is why my tree is now a mixture of old and new, pastels and brights, classic and trendy, childish and mature.  But, as a friend mentioned today when talking about her tree, there are memories with so many of them and memories of decorating with my girls.  Thank you, Nancy for your wisdom.  You are at least partially responsible for helping me mature from the selfish, silly girl I was in my twenties and for that, I am grateful.

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