Evangeline was lounging in my bed with me and all of the sudden looked up at me, puzzled.
E: "Mommy. What DO you wear to go shopping when you are a grown up?"
K: "What do you mean, baby?"
E: "What do you WEAR to go SHOPPING when you grow up?"
K: "ummm.....I usually wear jeans and a shirt?"
E: (exasperated) "Nooooooo, Mommy....I mean, how do you go shop when you only have kid clothes and you are a grown up?"
I finally figure out Evangeline is under the impression that one day you wake up, and BAM. You are BIG, and all your clothes are still a 5T and there is no way on earth you can go to the Boardwalk to buy big-people clothes because you have popped out of all of your kid-clothes like the Incredible Hulk.
I try to reason with her, explaining that growing up happens slowly and one day you figure out that your clothes are a little tight and you need bigger ones, just like when she grows out of her shoes. I explain that she will be a teenager before she needs big-people clothes and there are plenty of sizes that get bigger and bigger.
She is clearly not buying it. Not a bit. She looks up at me like I'm the one who just doesn't understand.
K: "Dwen, when you get to be a grownup and your clothes don't fit you can order some off the internet. Then you will have clothes to go shopping in."
(I'm clearly getting better at this parenting thing.)
She grinned and promptly went about her business, having solved the dilemma of clothing herself on the day she wakes up to find she has become a grown up.
In some ways, she's right. There are moments when we realize we are the people making the decisions. We are the ones with the kids. I'm the mom. I'm no longer practicing for life. I am living it, day by day, and my children are practicing by watching me. Sometimes it sneaks up quietly like a pair of shoes that get a little tighter on a 4-year-old foot at the end of the summer, and sometimes it is like ripping out of your skin and growing ten sizes overnight.
I'm grateful that kids are like spandex....they hug you tight when you are growing slowly, bit by bit, and stretch at a moment's notice when you need to burst out of your shell to grow up all at once. Let's hope spandex hasn't gone out of style by the time Evangeline has to shop for her grown-up clothes.