Clothing and the outbreak of
11 - 25 -04
By Kimberly Campbell
Signs of a strange phenomenon have
began appearing in my home. Puberty.
The next 8 years, until my 10 year
old becomes 18, can’t pass by
fast enough. Next to the "terrible
twos", this is the time I have looked
with the least excitement.
A prime example of this puberty phase presented itself
when we were shopping for school clothes and shoes.
These days, unless I want my 10 year old looking like
Brittney Spears, there is little hope of finding appropriate,
affordable clothing that fit her. All the "appropriate"
and "cute" stuff is too small. And the shoes!
My gosh, the things they expect children to wear these
days! There is practically nothing designed for a child
in women’s sized shoes. She is a size 6-1/2 to
a 7. Children’s sizes stop at about a 4-1/2. Next
Stop:The women’s department. This means my choice
of shoes for a 10 year old girl are high-healed, plat-formed,
bulky, or street-walker styled shoes. Whatever happened
to cute shoes for larger feet? I don’t remember
my mom having this kind of trouble when I was 10 (but
she says it was the same way then, too).
When will the fashion industry learn that girls do
not go from a 6 year old in a size 4 shoe to a 20 year
old woman in a size 8 shoe overnight? There is a whole
generation gap in there where the children’s stuff
is too small and the adult stuff is too mature. And
we wonder why our 10 and 12 year olds look 21! How else
are they supposed to dress when all that is being offered
in their sizes are "women’s" stuff?
And to add insult to injury, with the ever-persistent
puberty monster trying to rear it’s ugly head
in my home, the birds and the bees have now descended
upon us. My child is now the quite-embarrassed owner
of a tell-all book. She wants to know and is old enough
to understand, but won’t ask or talk about it
out of embarrassment, so we got a book. After she skimmed
through the book, she says "are you sure I am old
enough for this?" Too late to second guess now.
Take the Santa Claus incident last Christmas where
she adamantly insisted that he was not real and demanded
that I admit it. So what am I to think? I think she
already knows the truth and wants me to stop trying
to push a fairy tale on her. So what do I do? I tell
her what she so obviously seemed to know. There is no
Santa Claus, at least not in the way she always thought
there was. What does she do? Screams and cries that
I ruined Christmas for her and why did I tell her there
was no Santa Claus because she wanted to believe there
was! What's a mother to do?
After all this, it seems to me that the most important
lesson for children that is not being taught in the
schools is -- "If you don’t want to know
the answer, don’t ask the question! " If
I didn't have a great appreciation for my father before,
let me tell you I have a greater respect now. After
all, he raised two daughters and lived to tell about
it. Whether I survive raising one daughter remains to
Since I had my child, my dad tells me that if you can
raise just one child to be a well-rounded, respectable
adult that contributes to society, you have really done
something for this world.