If you were a fly on the wall at my house, you'd be sure to hear your share of fussing, complaining and whining. Maybe even a slammed door or two.

But enough about me.

In the pressure cooker that's parenting, I have exploded more than once. And it's harder to clean up than spaghetti night with a toddler.

So after years spent indulging in fruitless self-flogging, I finally let go of my obsession with getting it all 'just right.' I confess...I'm not a perfect parent.

Whew. That felt good.

Now, when my son saunters in with his 42nd tardy of the school year, I let it go. When I hear myself hollering "Whatever!" at my teenage daughter, I move on.

Having it all together is overrated anyway.

And I've determined not to waste God's grace. I'll never get it just right. You won't, either. So read on, sister. If you see a little of yourself in me, I hope it helps to know that you're not alone. Nope. If you're a mom, face it. You're never, ever alone.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

We're Not in Kansas Anymore...

I love a good fairytale as much as the next girl.

But what I encountered this week was nothing short of a nightmare.

The scene of this fright show? My local Halloween store.

It wasn’t the abundance of ghouls and goblins that had my palms sweaty and my heart pounding wildly.

My terror materialized in the middle of the “Tween” aisle.

I was on a mission to find a costume for my 12-year-old daughter.

She wanted to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Sounds innocent enough.

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that dear, sweet Dorothy had undergone a transformation that would make Aunie Em’s hair stand on end.

And if Goldilocks had shown up in the outfit I saw, Mama and Papa would have done well to cover Baby Bear’s eyes.

And let me repeat. These costumes are.for.tweens.

False advertising, anyone?

I found a worker and expressed my disgust. She showed me a couple of other costumes, but finally sighed and admitted, “There’s really not much. I have two teenage daughters. We have this battle every year."

I reluctantly settled on a "Little Red Riding Hood" costume that could undergo some "modest-fication."

This was not a popular choice with my daughter: "I'll look like a nun compared to everyone else!"

The sad truth? She's right. Our sexualized society had done a brilliant job of pedaling the lie that innocence is a childish liability, best discarded as soon as possible. It promises a fairytale, but delivers a nightmare.

This deception makes us feel that we're at war with the world and with our girls. A friend with a young daughter recently told me, “We have to protect them from themselves. They don’t understand the value of their innocence.”

But we do. And although we can't control the ending, God gives us the responsibility to shape the storyline despite the conflict.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12


  1. Oh so true, Melinda!

    I guess moms' minds think alike...

    I had similar thoughts on my own blog today -- but from a boy mom's perspective!


  2. I'm so glad you wrote this! I'm also glad I had parents who put their feet down when I wanted to wear mini-skirts like all my friends. I think as a mom one has to teach their daughters modesty from the time they're born. Don't want your teenagers in spaghetti straps and mini-shorts? Don't put your 3 year old in them!
    One of my favorite thoughts on wardrobe choices is this: "if you don't want to be judged by what you wear, then don't be guilty of false advertising!"
    So glad you're brave enough to write about this when the media and everyone else seems to scorn modesty!

  3. Melinda, it does seem to be worse every year. And then our society wonders why the teens and young adults are in trouble. "Stand firm" and be brave! Well done and said, dear friend.


  4. Although I don't celebrate Halloween I can definitely see your point. And sadly, this has spilled over into just everyday wear as well. What child needs to have the word "Juicy" spelt across her hiney?! I think THOSE designers should get into trouble - what sickos!

    My best, Lynn
    * I love how your bangs in real life are so similar to your cartoon version...too cute!

  5. Not that I was stalking you or anything :oP Just from your profile picture...ha! :o)

    My best, Lynn

  6. I found your blog from 5 Silly Frogs. Oh how true you are here. I was so refreshed to read my exact thoughts about how the world is stealing the sweet joy of purity and wholesomeness from our children.

    Thank you for sharing.

    I will be subscribing in my reader to your blog!

  7. You've got your groove on, Girl.

    Keep going!

    That's a message we all need to hear.

    Hope to talk to you soon.

    Sweet dreams.

  8. I am very thankful that my mother taught me the importance of modesty and appropriate dress. I in turn am passing this down to my daughter. :D

  9. You are so right..innocence needs to be protected.. great post.. Hugs!!!

  10. You are so right. I was pleasantly surprised -- and thrilled -- when my tween daughter chose a bumblebee costume this year. Whew! Safe until next year!

  11. @Lynn - One of the rules in our house is no words on the behind. Why would I want to give anyone a reason to stare at my dd's backend? Also, no "bad attitude" t-shirts. Thank goodness for school uniforms!

  12. It really is sad! I don't have any girls...all boys. I don't want my boys seeing all the trashy outfits out there! So disturbing! Thank you for taking a stand for your daughter!

  13. Great post! It is so true.

    We've gone through this with my two daughters 11 and 13. That's when I break out my old sewing machine and whip up something myself.

  14. Update: After all the costume drama, my daughter trick-or-treated for about 30 minutes, decided it was boring and went to a friend's house. Lord, give me patience!

  15. You are so right about costumes this days, everything has gotten shorter. And more cleavage is exposed. I am glad daughter chosed a more modest outfit and less expensive than the others.

  16. loved the last verse!!!
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  17. Oh wow, I loved this post. It can be so hard to find modest clothes, much less costumes. Thanks for sharing with us. =)

    Stopping in from SITS!

  18. Amen, Melinda. It's a battle, isn't it?

    Our kids need our prayer like never before. We need to ask the Lord to capture our children's hearts so that the world cannot. I regularly pray the fear of God over my kids, too, and that they will be far more responsive to Holy Spirit pressure than to peer pressure.

  19. Now, I can post a comment. I agree. I hate to see things which make our little girls grow up way too fast.

    I hate the beauty pageants for little girls. I hate the music videos making 15 and 16 year old girls look sultry. I've seen interviews of these same girls, who are so 15 and 16 in their natural state.

  20. I agree so strongly with everyone else. I've got a while before I have to worry about tween costumes, but I remember my SILs at that age and the things they wore (especially the younger one). It shocked me that their parents would allow it! I've seen a little bit of a trend back towards modesty locally and I'm hoping it sticks around for a while.

  21. Oh , what a great post!

    Unfortunately in todays society everyone takes the "sex sells" approach.

    They don't look at all the age groups that are looking at their products or promotions. They dont care that a tween or teen will buy the seductive costume. They just look at the dollar they are making on every sale. I'm in Advertising, I know 1st hand. It's sad!

    I have a blog award waiting for you on my blog. Please stop by and get it when you have a chance.

    I have been visiting your blog for a little while but, I am an official follower now. Lol!


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