That Brown Vest

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Advice, Attitude, Childrearing, Cleaning, Clothes, Communication, Confidence, Connections, Conversations, Daughters, Encouragement, Memories, Mother, Motherhood, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 27-03-2017

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Every few years I get the urge to go through my closet and get rid of stuff. You can read about the last time I made such a purge here. Here is how I decreased the surplus population of my clothes. My goal is always to get rid of:

1. The ugly stuff.
2. The stuff that will never ever fit again.
3. The stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable, unconfident, and ugly.

I have had surprisingly a lot of stuff in each of these categories.

I filled three giant trash bags with jeans that are too tight, ruffled blouses that are hideous, pleated slacks that look shiny, and that sort of thing. All kinds of ugly.

I proudly announced to my daughter my feat: I got rid of all my ugly clothes!

What about that brown vest? She asked.

That. Brown. Vest?

Oh that. I guess I didn’t get rid of ALL my ugly clothes. That brown vest might be ugly, but it makes me happy, warm, and comfortable. In fact, I wore it on my last zoo outing with my youngest.

I think you look pretty in that ugly, brown vest, she said.

Well then, it’s a keeper!

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Danger: Parenting Ahead

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Life Lessons, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Travel | Posted on 07-08-2012

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Sometimes as a parent, you need to truly parent. And use your best judgement and foresight.

Even if it means that you will piss off your daughter.

One day, on a family hike in a scenic area near Mount St. Helen’s my nine-year-old daughter wanted to lead the way down the dangerous trail, as my family proceeded in single file.

The “danger” signs did not lie.

In fact, they made me second-guess myself. Was this hike indeed a good choice? Or would we have been better off taking pictures of wildflowers in the open field? Where it was flat and safe.

We proceeded. As a family unit.

We carefully stepped and navigated, while I barked out orders like I had Tourette’s syndrome: “Step carefully!” “Hold my hand!” “Slow down!” “Stay BEHIND me!”

My daughter started off the hike in a foul mood, because she didn’t get her way.

The rapids were below us. Way below. Crashing against volcanic rock. The path was skinny, with gravel causing your foot to slip. The path made sharp descents, forcing us to side step and grip onto the person’s hand behind you.

At the halfway mark, we paused and took in the views. My daughter was grinning. Happy again. We all were. The views were amazing. We were a unit, embarking on this adventure together.  The experience was full of lessons. Seven, in fact:

  1. Parents know things.
  2. Kids don’t always know everything, even if they think they do.
  3. Nature is beautiful.
  4. Families work best when they work as a team.
  5. Parents need to parent.
  6. Parents make mistakes.
  7. Hard things are worth doing.

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