It’s a bit before six in the morning and LFG appropriately, remains in a…“busier than ever sixth grader needs a battery recharge” slumber. It’s amazing but not surprising that my little gal is growing up. I thank God that she and I have built such a good foundation because the inevitable pre-adolescent, dare I say pre-pubescent years are just around the corner. Somebody hold me…I’m getting wobbly just typing the words. Why? I’m having to work harder to get on the LFG dance card and my time with her is slightly less frequent than in recent years. She’s a busy, happy middle-school kid and one-on-one time with dads isn't always the highest of priorities with gals of her ilk. I understand it. I don’t however, have to like it.
Y’all and I know that it’s all good…that it’s nothing unique and that on balance; the LFG positives outweigh by a long shot any negatives whatsoever. And my mother, the baby of ten kids, just won’t hear of my LFG obsessions and I don’t blame her. “Everyone accounted for? Anyone bleeding? Yes and No? Good.” That was my mother’s world regarding her parents' focus on emotional well adjustment and likelihood to thrive. I understand. But I’ve only got LFG so…so…so...so, there.
So LFG unpacks her school bag on Friday night and begins to knock out some homework. (The homework load for sixth graders is a lot. I’m mixed on the issue but am in tandem with said conflict, impressed that her particular school district rivals the area private schools in student performance and academic rigor) But before delving into the remaining homework odds and ends she pulls out the latest J.Crew catalogue.
My response was tentative as I saw numerous pages tagged with blue sticky notes. The stuff ain’t cheap and the quality, while sometimes pretty good, can be inconsistent. But I was buoyed by what the catalogue wasn’t. LFG eschewed all of the Crewcuts stuff a few years ago in favor of the more urban hoodie-esque Abercrombie and Fitch genre. At least it wasn’t a look book from that devil’s den. I’ll pay double to keep her away from all of that hook-up hoochie-coochie sh_t purveyed by the A&F camp.
There’s no doubt that my baby has a quirky style sense. Not sure where she gets it but she’s her own gal sartorially. And LFG has some of the A&F stuff but we edit closely what she’s allowed to have. Zippered sweatshirts and baggy sweatpants with some A&F signage…that’s about it. I’ve derived no joy from those purchases but at least the selections covered all of her body parts. Shut up.
I was gratified to see that she’s now interested in some classics. When Crewcuts launched years ago, LFG was still that delightful little lump of toddlerness and would wear anything we bought her. So yes, at one point she did have a little Crewcuts brown velvet skirt with embroidered bumble bees. But then she dropped all of the preppy-classic stuff like a bad habit. And now I’m relieved that she’s coming back. LFG’s at the top-end of the Crewcuts size range so I figure Spring /Fall 2012 will be her only Crewcuts hurrah. Lordy, then it’s where? The smallest adult sizes? Flashback…her Christmas navy blazer is a woman’s size “0”. I better get a second job.
So what in the catalogue did she flag? A well edited selection of tasty things that befits a budding young lady. I began to think of Bardot and Capri as LFG narrated her picks.
And speaking of Capri…
Cropped Capris require complementary shoes…
LFG informed me that her Jack Rogers still “kinda fit” but she’s hankering for these little thingys.
And a gaggle of shorts…
…including the very color that she admonished me not to ever wear again when I picked her up from school. I have a pair of orange cotton drill trousers. Funny how things change.
And I had to include this little shaver. My parents dressed me similarly every Sunday for church. Butcept my tie was, sorry to say, a clip-on.
What really resonated with me was the belt. I was about this fella’s age when I begged my mom for one of these. All of the older boys had a monogrammed silver slide buckle and an alligator strap. I remember getting one when I was in the third grade. I got bleeding madras pants at the same time.
Will LFG get all of the items requested? Nope. Shorts from Target in identical colors will work just fine—at less than half the price.
Will she get some of it? You bet. I don’t give a damn how you incent your child’s behavior. Carrot? Stick? Punishment or reward? We don’t cut “deals” up front with LFG for academic performance. What we've worked hard to do is instill in our child good ethics and proper study habits. And when my baby brings home straight A’s, the annotated pages in the Spring 2012 J. Crew catalogue are likely to get more of daddy ADG’s attention.