My daughter and I were out shopping last week (for socks, sneakers, and back-to-school supplies) when I spotted it: a small, asymmetrical, black pleather jacket. Of course, I immediately forgot why we were there, because jacket. Instead, I made my way over toward the display, and I scoured the racks for size 4 or 5.
Please, I thought, let them have this beauty in a size 4 or 5.
But the jacket wasn’t for me. No, no. It was for my daughter, for my not-so-little, but still little, girl.
The jacket was cute as hell, and I loved it. I mean, it was ballsy, biker-chic, and totally my style but I didn’t need a new black leather — or pleather — jacket because I already owned one. But my daughter? She didn’t own one, and she wanted one. She needed one. We needed one.
Why? Well, because I’m “that mom,” the one who shops the youth apparel section for my kid and myself. I’m “that mom,” the one who scours Etsy and Amazon for matching shoes, matching socks, and mommy-and-me outfits. And because I’m “that mom,” the one who thinks it is cute AF for a nearly 34-year-old woman to match her 4-year-old daughter.
Because it is.
I am not embarrassed to admit that I dress like my preschooler. Or she dresses like me. Whatever. I am not ashamed to admit the I enjoy dressing matchy-matchy with my preschooler.
Of course, I know this matching thing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine. Truly, it is. I mean, many moms wouldn’t dare wear a leotard with neon leggings or with a tutu. Many moms loathe the shit their kids are into and would never even consider sporting a Frozen shirt or Barbie-pink jacket, and many moms think the idea of dressing like a child is ridiculous. I’m a grown-up and should look and act like a grown-up. I should dress my age, right?
Believe me, as a mom with piercings and tattoos, I’ve heard it all.
Sure, sometimes, i.e., when I go to work or on an interview or when I am anywhere which requires me to be semi-professional. But on vacation? On the weekends? When we are at home? On those days, I embrace the fuck out of my inner child because life is short.
Too short to dress the way you want to dress and have fun.
Besides, our “matching” tops make my daughter smile. Playing “twinsies” (and wearing coordinated colors) makes my daughter happy, and when she is happy, I’m happy. It’s fun for us.
Her joy is contagious.
But our dress-up time is about more than that. For us, clothing is common ground on which we bond, it’s our thing, something we both enjoy, from the shopping to the outfit planning. And when we dress alike, my daughter carries her head a little higher because no one is as confident as a pint-sized princess parading through the park.
Correction: No one is as confident as a princess parading through the park except when she does so alongside her tutu-clad, tiara-rocking mom.
Of course, I benefit from our arrangement too. I am typically very rigid and structured, and playing “dress up” gives me the chance to kick back and cut loose. It allows me to be a bit more playful and carefree.
So while some may see this behavior as cheesy — while some may see my behavior as weird, quirky, and even a little desperate — the truth is that sometimes I do dress like a kid. Sometimes I do act like a kid, and I do so for my daughter. For me. And for us.
Besides, it is fun. We are cute AF, and life is too short to not dress up in a tutu and matching tees. It is too short to not have fun.