“Mom, can you come upstairs when you are done?’
“Yup. Let me just put this in the DW.”
“I want you to tell me if these jeans still fit.”
Megan is 11. Megan has always been quite happy in athletic shorts, leggings and a shirt. Megan has two sisters. Hannah, 17, and Grace,15. Megan has never worn jeans. We’ve always joked around with her – “Hey Meg, that shirt would look so cute with a pair of jeans.” Her response has been consistent over the years “I don’t like jeans.” We’d let it go and let her be.
Last fall, she actually let me buy her a pair of jean jeggings – that denim with loads of spandex so they feel more like a legging than a traditional stiff jean. “It’s good to have them.” I said as we walked out of Justice with our purchases in hand. “I’ll probably never wear them.” She said quite matter-of -factly as we walked out. Her tone said, “Mom you just wasted 22.99.”
I finish loading the DW and I head upstairs.
“I can’t find those jeans we bought last year.”
“Go check in the dresser in my closet.”
She returns empty handed. I watch as she begins to dig through the drawers in her own dresser. “Are they in here with the shorts?” she asks her self as she lifts and sorts the clothes.
“Try your closet. Are they in one of the cubbies?”
I sit on her bed and watch her search her closet and cubbies.
She turns to me “Where are they?” It’s obvious. She’s not giving up. “They still have the tags on them. They were from Justice.” She remembers.
“Let me be the second set of eyes.” I get up and head to the closet cubbies. I reach in to a pile of fuzzy socks and grab a dark colored material. I have found the jeans.
“There they are!” she exclaims.
The fitting begins. She pulls on the jeans. “Oh good! No zippers! I hate zippers!” She jumps up down pulling on the pants. She looks at herself in the mirror. “These are OK.”
“Try these.” I hand her a pair of jeans from the attic. Hannah had worn them. Grace had worn them. Despite the fact that Megan was never a fan of jeans, I held on to them… just in case.
“Ugh. Zippers.” She pulls them on. “These skinny jeans. They are so difficult to put on.” she cackles. Accentuating the word difficult. I watch as she pulls the tight ankle over her heal. “Ohhh! I like these.”
“Put this on.” I hand her an old lightweight hoodie. The hoodie exchanges hands. “Grace LOVED that shirt. She wore it all the time. I think she even wore it with those exact jeans.” I’m sitting there in the moment while simultaneously my mind is reliving a memory.
Megan slips the shirt over her head. Adjusts the hood and the sleeves. Hops on her bed to get a good look at her self head to toe.
“I really like this!”
“Go show Hannah.”
Hannah pauses from her homework “Aww, Meg. That looks so cute.”
I watch Megan exit Hannah’s room and head down to Grace. Grace looks up from whatever Netflix show is on her computer. I can hear the sentimentality in her voice. “Ohh Megan! I remember wearing that! I love it!”
I hear Megan’s feet dance up the stairs. She enters the room and looks at herself in the mirror one more time. “I really like this.”
Megan is now in middle school. I know the next three years are going to be full of discovery – for her and for me. I remember the middle school years – the good, the bad, and the ugly, – with Hannah and Grace. Their personalities, their likes and dislikes, their willingness to test out their independence and identity played itself out during these years. During the fitting I was thankful that Megan was allowing me to be part of the discovery and identity play.
Gotta love shopping in the attic.