Parenting is perpetual construction. It’s the work truck driving adjacent the joy curb, always working—reworking, and an occasional hopping out to stretch the legs. But there is no sabbatical for moms and dads. If there’s not someone in the lane next to you telling you how to drive, it’s yourself—sometimes I lay awake, going over my list of speed bumps:
I said too much there. I didn’t say enough here. I focused too much on the dirty house today. I’m not that mother who can multitask her child and the whole school at the same time—and to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to be—that would be as exciting as doing a math test.
But amidst all the chaos, there are two things I feel good about:
My kids know that Jesus is the only real Superhero.
I don’t make them match their clothes.
Wait-what? Yes, I’m proud of the fact that I let them wear fuchsia polka dots with camouflage pants. Stripes with crazy patterns. A spiderman shirt with batman pants (so as I am writing this, Microsoft word wants me to capitalize spiderman, but not batman—what’s up with that?).
Anyway, why do I let them walk in public looking like they dressed themselves? Because they don’t need to dress for others approval. They need to know it’s okay to be them. They’ll face enough pressure from their peers in a few years—I want them to feel good about making their own choices because they were made like this (by the real Superhero):
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14
They weren’t knit together by Prada’s marketing team. They weren’t wonderfully made to feel pressured to have surgeons nip and tuck their uniqueness away.
If God’s works are wonderful…they are already beautiful. They need
encouragement to be them. Who am I to make them feel like they have to fit my standards of beauty, or the standards of the fashion industry, or Hollywood?
Here’s an excerpt from Alissa Quart in her book Branded:
“…many of the teens and tweens I have come across who are drenched in name-brand merchandise are slightly awkward or overweight or not conventionally pretty. While many teenagers are branded, the ones most obsessed with brand names feel they have a lack that only superbranding will cover over and insure against social ruin.”
And it all starts with drawing attention to their appearance.
I listened to an interview at my mom’s group a few weeks ago. Wisdom from a former Victoria’s Secret Model. She said the only reason she got into the modeling industry (and nude modeling) was because her father encouraged her in only one thing: her looks. It took her decades to realize that she had real value.
The only One children need to be concerned with pleasing is the Superhero who laid down His life for them. If they ask you why God made them look a certain way, tell them:
“God saw all that He made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 (emphasis mine)