Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Traditions & Wonder Woman

I have a few favorite things that I do just for me. Listening to instrumental music. Web-wandering. Really, really hot baths. Walking up, down, and around racks of clothing looking for bargains. Time with my mom.

I grew up overseas. Every summer we would fly back to the States to visit family. Much of our time was spent in stores buying up everything we might need for the following year that we either could not buy in Haiti or was tremendously more expensive to buy and worth the hassle of packing up and taking back with us in our suitcases. (I have a reoccurring dream where I cannot fit all of my clothes into my suitcases and I have to decide what to leave behind.)

My parents would give my brother and I  a clothing budget. We would go to the mall, split up, look, meet back for lunch in the food court, then Mom would take her turn with each of purchasing what we had decided on. This is when I learned to bargain hunt. This is when I learned to save every receipt. This is when I learned to love to shop with my mom.

When I was out of school and had my first job I didn't make much money. Whenever my parents came for a visit my mom still took me out shopping. And yes, she still paid for some clothes.

I'm married now. Three kids. My husband is a good provider and I don't need my mom along to pay for my clothes. I guess that's when I was sure it wasn't really about Mom buying me clothes. My mom and I still try to get away for a day of shopping as often as we can (which doesn't end up being as often as I'd like). With three kids, finding a sitter isn't easy and it isn't cheap, but it has been worth it. I don't want to give up our shopping trips.

I had a day with my mom yesterday. We started a new tradition. We took my oldest daughter, Mercy. She's three.

Odd how things shift naturally. With Mercy cheerfully keeping up with Mom and Grandma, I found myself looking at racks of small clothes instead of "Mommy clothes". I picked up pink sandals, skorts, Easter tights and purple glamor sunglasses. (My incredible find of the day was these Wonder Woman t-shirts for the girls. Mercy has been obsessed with Wonder Woman every since I let her watch an old episode online.) We had pizza slices for lunch, with pop. We used quarters to buy candy out of the mammoth candy machines in the mall. I got to be my mom. It was wonderful, but I missed just being with my mom. I hope Mercy feels that way when the day comes that I get to go shopping with her and her daughter. It means I will have done something right.

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