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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Modesty is the Best Policy

I've been brainwashing my kids to be modest since they were walking and talking.  I mean, I don't mind sun dresses on babies, but once you're in kindergarten, you need sleeves, little sister.  Yes, I'm one of those moms.


Why?  Because I was allowed to dress less modestly than I am comfortable with, looking back.  I am embarrassed by photographs of myself with my returned-missionary, one-day-to-be-husband boyfriend, wearing tank tops and shorts with hems closer to my crotch than my knee.  I will grant that tank tops were not what they are now.  They used to have 2 to 3" wide straps.  Now, they look like lingerie.  And we girls were careful not to let our bra-straps show.  'Cause that's skanky.  Or it was.  Now it's "part of the outfit."  Ugh.

But back to my kids.

This brainwashing has produced some funny moments, as well as modest kids.  There was the day when #3 at age 3 shouted, "She's not being modest!" as we passed by a hussy mom dressed in hot pants, a push-up bra, and see-through camisole, picking up the kids from school.  Maybe she wasn't a hussy.  Maybe she was sweet and God-fearing and nice as could be.  But that's not the look she was going for.

Then there were the months when #4 (my only son) was about 4 and thought that "modest" translated into "wear a shirt."  I'm assuming this misconception came from the fact that in hearing my tutorials on modest dress he heard the common theme of covered shoulders and midriffs.  However it came about, no one was allowed to see him without a shirt.  He'd run from the bath to his room, wrapped in his towel to get that shirt on before his sisters saw him.  Underwear and pants, on the other hand, were optional.

Then this past Saturday I had a great conversation with #3.  Picking her up from her friend's birthday party, she was giving me the report.  She definitely loved the eating doughnuts off of a string, but being a fruitaphobe, she wouldn't even try to bob for apples.  I was gratified that she also found the bobbing for apples thing to be a little too "germy."  

According to #3, some of the boys who were bobbing for apples got their shirts wet, and removed them.  Apparently, they went shirtless for the rest of the party.  Number 3 was appalled by this.  She proceeded to get up on a little modesty police soap box (not at the party, although that would have been priceless--just for her mother) about how nasty it was to have shirtless boys at the party.  

"One of them, you could even see their underwear," she ranted.  "It was gross.  Plus, I mean, when they get big, with big, hairy chests, and they take off their shirts, it's like, no one wants to see THAT.  So get used to a shirt now."

You go, girl.  I have no use for big, hairy chests, myself.  I wanted to applaud and crack up all at the same time.  I did neither.  I chuckled, grabbed a pen and scribbled her words on the back of the party invitation, not at all distracted from my driving, and putting neither my daughter and I nor anyone else who may have been driving that country road in danger.  What can I say?  It was just too good to lose.  

Modestly lessons, check.  Driver safety lessons, ...  Aren't driving lessons the dad's job?

14 fishy comments:

clan of the cave hair said...

that is priceless. Mel and I had a conversation fairly recently about wishing we had not been allowed to dress the way we were allowed to dress. It was authorized rebellion and the message was that we didn't need to listen to the prophet's counsel. I think its ironic that the word of wisdom was never a problem for me, not in any way, but giving up wearing immodest clothes was REALLY HARD!

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Beautiful post! Thank you! Don't forget to visit my new blog :)

Melanie J said...

Ha, ha! It took me three years to get my oldest boy to understand that our house is not an "all underwear, all the time" kind of place.

And if you know what a "meme" is but my post is still confusing, email me and I'll explain! I don't like being confusing. And if you do know what a meme is and it's still confusing to you, email me, becausse it will make me crazy that I wasn't clear!

Tink said...

Kudos on the modesty writeup. On of my many mottos is "Moddest is Hottest". I've tried to encourage my daughter to dress the same. I encourage her to dress as if she were wearing garments now. I have no control over our older kids. The older two girls (stepdaughters) are not members of the Church and have the same thinking and values as me and neither is my daughter-in-law a member, so all I can do is encourage my daughter. So kudos to you!

Whitney R said...

This is a priceless story :)

How great for them to learn young. I was able to wear shorts - finger length. Dresses - knee length. And no spaghetti straps. But I did wear cut off at the shoulder shirts. I was pretty modest and that prepared me for now. Once I hit college I made it a point to only buy clothes that I knew I could wear with G's. I was sure grateful for that after I got married and went through my wardrobe! :)

Jillene said...

Thanks for checking out my blog!! I love new blog friends!!

Great blog!! I am trying to teach my kids the same thing. My #2 thinks that belly shirts are the best thing ever. We had to have a talk about that--hello--she's only 6! What have I gotten myself into?

Erin said...

I love how your kids are standing up for what they believe in too. And isn't it funny when kids say things that are embarrassing to us REALLY LOUDLY? So funny!

Kristina P. said...

This is huge for me. I was always taught to dress modestly so I didn't have to make a big change when I wore garments. It's ironic, if you knew my mom now.

Love the story!

Wendy said...

LOVE IT! FUNNY kids!

Wendyburd1 said...

My dad taught me to drive...tears and all! I like modesty, don't think my sister is immodest though, she is just a bellydancer and dresses the part, but her fave outfit is sweatpants and sweatshirt...yeah the bellydancer costume? An illusion. I don't mind sleeveless (on others these arms are too ick to show off) if it is tasteful.

Brittany said...

I don't like the "Wear 'cute' clothes as long as you can" attitude. Do they think that once you walk out of the temple for the 1st time, the urge to dress immodestly goes away? Duh.

When I was doing book signings this lady who worked for Seagull Book told me that she also was a temple worker in the Provo Temple. She said she saw mothers (in the bride's room) taking out scissors and cutting daughter's Gs so they would fit under their immodest wedding dresses. Nice.

Motherboard said...

you have been added on the mormon mommy blogs to the this and that category!
thanks!

clan of the cave hair said...

I've heard that too Brittany. How is a girls supposed to know the right way to wear her g's if her mother is the one showing her how to deface them? Crazy.

The Boob Nazi said...

This is an older post, but I'm okay with that.
Bra straps are NOT part of the outfit! NEVER! Those girls are white trash but don't know it....