“I don’t want shoes that show my toe cleavage. I want comfortable, yet stylish shoes, but I don’t like the kind that show toe cleavage,” Grace exclaimed after we had been to five different department stores looking for a new pair of shoes.
Shopping with a middle school girl has proven to be one of my greatest challenges as a parent. It’s very important that I mentally and physically prepare for such experiences. I liken these experiences to a tactical combat mission. I must go into these missions with the upmost patience and endurance knowing that in the end, we might not find success.
Mission #1 – Find shoes for Grace (age 13)
Grace needed a new pair of shoes for our spring break trip. Her TOM shoes had holes and her other shoes aren’t comfortable for long periods of time. With the hours of walking necessary in Europe, we set out to find her a good pair of shoes. We spent last Saturday driving to at least eight different places to find shoes.
Here are a few statements that I heard.
1) Those are really ugly
2) Those aren’t comfortable
3) Those are not stylish
4) Those are too expensive (I was willing to spend some money just to get it over with).
5) Those look like old lady shoes
6) Those shoes show toe cleavage
Toe cleavage? Really?
Finally in a desperate moment, and after seeing every shoe available in Portland, OR, she found a simple pair of comfortable flats that do not show toe cleavage. Mission accomplished.
Mission #2 Bathing Suit Shopping for Grace (age 13) and Isabel (age 11 almost 12)
There is probably no other dreadful shopping moment with a middle school girl than picking out their bathing suit. What makes it so challenging?
Well, my girls are modest. Many of the teen bathing suits are a bit too skimpy for my girls. Many of the suits in the junior section are too juvenile for my girls. It can take days, even weeks to find a bathing suit that they will wear. Finally, last night at JC Penney, Grace Jones and Isabel Jones found bathing suits.
Mission accomplished. It was a moment in life to celebrate.
So friends, if you have young girls, here is a just a little glimpse into what you can expect in the middle school years. The good news is I still have my sanity.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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