It was a sunny day in 1993. My mom was sitting next to her mom on one of those bubbly pool chairs at Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont.
She was horrified by my outfit. Do you remember that episode of “Major Dad” where Elizabeth leads the quest to allow boxer shorts as acceptable apparel? Well I was rocking “Jurassic Park” boxers and hiking boots that day, along with a turtleneck tank top.
Today I’m wearing hiking boots though I didn’t mean to, and when I looked down was fully transported. To the day that feels like yesterday, when everyone was still mostly here.
My mother’s mother chided her for being so closed minded. It was a 180 from that 1982 day at Roosevelt Field when my Nanny (what I called my grandmothers) demanded I wear the Lollipop jeans she picked out for me.
“I think she looks fine,” Nanny said in her smoker’s drawl, though it had been years since she’d had a cigarette. Probably 😉
That moment, her words, the exchange will never leave me. Because I don’t think my mom even cared about my ridiculous outfit; I think she wanted not even her mother’s approval of her daughter, but to protect me from criticism.
To protect me in general.
My mother is a grandmother now and I see that protective nature even more, now that she has two granddaughters who have to navigate this often-mean world.
Those granddaughters dress up in costumes and when they’re in normal clothes, rock unicorns and mermaids on their t-shirts.
And when they’re old enough, I’m going to plan a “Jurassic Park” movie night!