by Megan Sullivan
Continuing July’s Independence theme, I’m pleased to post this guest blog by Megan Sullivan. Megan is a free-lance writer. She lives in Southern California with her husband and their two daughters.
My daughter is already fifteen, stands two inches taller than me and has a driver’s permit, so you would think that I would be prepared for anything. We made it through the training bra, the menstrual cycle and now we have moved onto “real bras.” I get embarrassed when boys look at her, but I really was coping with her maturing physique.
Then it happened… my little girl came to me, hair in a sweet braid, looking extra innocent with a piece of paper in her outstretched hand. I was thinking she must have achieved something in school or had a letter for me to sign. But when I looked closely at the paper I felt faint. She had printed out a Victoria Secret coupon (I’ve raised money-conscious kids!) and she wanted me to take her shopping for more grown-up undergarments.
Her smile said that she expected me to high five her choice in lingerie, drive to the mall to pick-up some lacy underthings, and send her out into the wide world with her thong straps showing above her waistline. Instead, she got Mom making sounds kept without forming sentences. My daughter has yet to start dating, but my mind leapt quickly from underwear to teen pregnancy, to appearing on one of those terrible daytime talk shows where everyone yells.
All I could utter was a stilted, “Why?”
Apparently, her friends shop at VS all the time and lately they had been poking fun at her off brand undies as she changed in the locker room. Nothing more to it than typical mean girl antics. I don’t remember kids being brand conscious down to the skivvies, but I can understand the desire to feel good about yourself and the need to fit in with your gal pals. I guess my generation did see the rise of Calvins.
Beyond impressing her besties, my daughter is growing into a woman and cares about her appearance from top to bottom. She laughed when I said, “Do we need to talk about boys again?” She promised that at this time these items were for herself, and reminded me that Victoria’s Secret carries plenty of ‘normal underwear’, not just sheer leopard print push-up bras.
“I’ll talk to you before a boy sees my underwear, Mom.” she promised, like a young woman present and in control of her choices.
So we went shopping together and my girl steered clear of the store’s naughtier items, barely even giving them a glance. She’s also taught me that there’s more to cute underwear than just sex appeal, so I picked up a few cute items of my own.
As our kids grow-up, sometimes they turn out to be more mature than we are. It’s a great feeling to be able to talk to your child like an adult, even if sometimes you still see her as a five-year-old. It’s a part of the path that was made for each of us. I admire my daughter’s smarts, sensitivity, and her sense of style. We won’t always see eye to eye, but I am learning to cope with this new chapter of parenting and enjoy our differences as she becomes a close friend.