The Gap

She dressed for school in jeans, a shirt and a sweater. I made the sweater with my own two hands, a roll-waist Harry Potter "Weasley" sweater in a lovely tweedy purple, with the letter H in a soft, soft pink. Although she is taller and the sweater therefore shorter, last year's Christmas present sees more wear this year. The jeans came from Old Navy, a dark wash in size 4 Short, since for some strange reason they have ceased selling a Girls 16 in the stores.

Perhaps I have never seen her wear this sweater with these jeans, or perhaps the shirt worn underneath was different. Today I perceive a gap, a glimmer of skin visible above the pants and below the shirt and sweater, a gap that points to places and things I would rather not describe when writing about my daughter.

These jeans are not super-low, but they are low enough to make me think a moment about sending her back upstairs for a different shirt. I don't want to be like my mother, who once said I looked like a hussy when trying on a dress for a college dance that exhibited some cleavage.

But this is sixth grade!

She is slender after her recent bout with stomach flu (not that she was large before), and maybe that's the reason the pants fit differently and seem to create an opening suggestive of her ripening femininity. I don't want to be my mother; I don't want to make her feel ashamed of being herself.

Yet I must say something.

When I do, her eyes flare! "It's your fault for making the sweater too short!!!!"

And so she goes to school, with the gap.

4 thoughts on “The Gap”

  1. I’m sooo there with you…and I “get” the gap thing! My 5th grader has some sensory integration issues and has never been able to handle pants up to her waist…all bottoms are “shoved down,” and it has nothing to do with fashion. Now that fashion is becoming an issue, it’s getting harder to contend with. Sigh. Cheers to middle school parenting!

  2. Cheers to school uniforms! Our public schools here have them, and in a recent newspaper interview a mom said her relationship with her daughter improved when she started wearing a uniform.
    In LP’s defense though, I think that’s the style, and it’s really, really hard to find kids clothes that are long anymore. My sister has resigned herself to making her 7 and 9 year olds wear tucked in undershirts under sweaters, because she can’t find sweaters that cover them up all the way Wonder how long it will be before that is a fight…..
    Poor Songbird!

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