“Never make yourself uglier than you are.”
Oh, Grandma Hazel, you really had a way with words. I suspect what you were trying to say (to my mother, who still recounts this quote 20 years after your death) is that you’ve got to work with what you’ve got, highlight your best features, and as my friend Dr. Scottie would say, “Shake what your mama gave you!”
But babies, kiddos, Mr. Pickle, Miss Plum, you are unfortunately at the mercy of your parents and their tastes for several years. That means Mr. Pickle, thanks to your dad, you will forever wear t-shirts emblazoned with the names of colleges and universities your parents and relatives did not attend. Your father will also occasionally dress you in stripes and plaids at the same time without mom noticing until we’re already at school. Miss Plum, this means you will forever be without socks, because, excepting a few lovely pairs, your mom is pretty much anti-sock. And you will be forced to endure too many outfits with strawberries on them, because, well, your mom doesn’t quite know why she loves these so much, she just does.
I can’t promise you’ll be the best dressed, but I can promise you that I will try not to put you in outfits that will make people laugh at you unkindly, pull their children away from you (or me) in fear and embarrassment, and/or make people question my sanity and fitness to parent.
… and these are the tame ones (all from Cafepress). Goodness, some of the onesies featured in this Huffington slideshow are so incredibly tasteless they make me blush. I am always amazed by the things other people think are funny.
So Plum and Pickle, I promise I will try to always remember that you are your own (little) people, and not simply extensions of me, or the way I want others to see me.