Picking your battles

Dec 14, 2011

#Life#The Flinger Family

This morning my daughter came down decked out in layers of plaid skirts, short tights, polka dot socks and crocks. Her paisley purple shirt topped off the entire outfit with a proper bow at the neckline. She illuminated joy from every ounce of her 7 year old tiny body. “Wow, hon! You’re a party!” She beamed at this compliment from me and sat down all sorts of matter-of-fact at breakfast ready for the day.

My kid? She has the pizazz.


I remember someone cooing over her as a baby. “Doesn’t she just bring you so much joy?” It was an innocent question from a perfect stranger, but at the time she was a three week old leech taking every ounce of my sanity in chunks of 45 minute sleeping blocks. I looked up, bleary eyed, and tried to smile a genuine smile all the while thinking, “Mister, have you HAD babies?”

It turns out? He had. His kids were grown now and he was looking at my three week old baby girl with eyes of decades of memories. Memories like the one at the breakfast table this morning.

“Thanks, Mom,” she said to me when I told her I was proud of her for picking out such a great outfit. I looked at her, her seven year old self, blonde hair, blue eyed lovely. Joy? Yes. Happiness? Yes. Frustration? Yes. But love, oh so much love, beyond anything I can comprehend.

We ate, walked to the bus together, and there at the bus stop was our neighbor girl, a girl in the same class, wearing nearly the same outfit. Both girls smiled and giggled with shy confidence. My neighbor and I laughed as our daughters caught the bus, girls in mis-matched socks and polka dot skirts, skipping up the steps. “Here’s the thing,” I told my neighbor, “I figure I’ll pick my battles. Don’t do drugs, have safe sex, and bygod wear whatever you want.”

I hope she keeps this spirit about her. And I know one day I’ll lean over a ragged, tired mother, and ask with genuine knowledge, “Doesn’t she bring you so much joy?”

She does. Daily.

more pizazz

** Also, super big than you to Babble for naming me one of the top 100 mommy bloggers!


  1. Oh! I love this. Mine is the same way; sometimes I cringe, thinking of what Other People are going to Think about how I dress my kid (as if I have anything to do with it!). But you know what? Most people absolutely love my daughter’s eclectic, cheery style. smile

    By mrscamacho on 2011 12 14

  2. Sparkle is in your DNA, mama. The gift we get back is seeing how much stronger the sparkle  shines through them

    By amandamagee on 2011 12 14

  3. Some of my favorite Monkey outfits are the ones that are totally crazy and fun. Don’t do drugs, wait and have safe sex, and as long as your parts are covered and dressed for the weather, wear whatever the hell you want!

    By zeghsy grrl on 2011 12 14

  4. I absolutely LOVE this! I have a post in drafts about my 4yo who happens to ask for mayonaise on white bread for breakfast in the mornings. Just had to post the “Xmas photo outtakes” first! smile

    By Colleen - Mommy Always Wins on 2011 12 15

  5. Thank you for sharing and for ¬†My 7 yr old daughter dresses similar, it is a battle I had to give up in Kindergarten. I remember sending her to school with a comment of “kids might laugh - I’m just warning you”. She came home and said “No one laughed at me mom, so there!”. Ever since then, she wins that one. smile

    By Leena on 2011 12 16