May 15, 2012

A Mother's Day fashion show

All week long Alex has been teasing us about the “Mothers’ Day” surprise. After a few rounds of “guess what my surprise is?” I finally learned Alex and some of the other senior girls were going to put on a fashion show for their mothers for Mother’s Day. 

For days I had lovely visions of Alex in a dress, with a bra, make-up and cute shoes.  I figured that since she dressed up for the prom, she would do it again. After all, she is graduating from high school in a few short weeks and becoming a young adult. I wanted to believe that the trauma of dressing like a girl for the prom had changed Alex for the better. Maybe she learned that she really is a pretty girl (just like I said!) and nice clothes and a little make-up are okay.

Yes, I was quite excited, convinced Alex had changed and could embrace her femininity.  The butterflies in my stomach grew when we arrived at the fashion show to see 12 of Alex’s peers dressed in beautiful clothes, with makeup and high heels. The lack of bras could be excused due to plunging backlines, and all the girls were stunning.  I was a bit disappointed to see Alex was still dressed in her loose baggy clothes, but she explained her “costume” was back stage. What high hopes I had!

As each of the girls took the runway to strut their stuff I got more and more excited. Alex in a dress, looking and acting like a girl gave me goose bumps. Did I finally have a convert, someone who believed me when I told her she was beautiful? Was my tomboy graduating from high school and a pretty young lady emerging?  

Finally, Alex took to the runway and this is what we saw……

My daughter is still a tomboy and a cowboy at that…..and about that losing weight thing....there are a lot more lbs to go.....

We all know that people with down syndrome are delayed in many things, in Alex's case she is also delayed in graduating from the tomboy-ness department too. I will still dream though because I know Alex will grow and learn more and more everyday day. Just like all of us.


  1. You know, as a tomboy leaning adult (26), I always find it strange how you fixate on that. Some women are just more masculine--and that's fine! We can wear dresses and look beautiful too, but there's nothing wrong with feeling comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. And it's hardly the strangest thing to do, especially not in the outdoorsy state you live in!

    I had a hard time growing up with people telling me my tomboy interests were a "phase" and that I would look prettier with some make-up or skirts on--I was already pretty and it sucks that all women have to be forced into a feminine box to be accepted. Fortunately, my mom never cared and so I grew into someone who could be confident about how beautiful I am, skirt or not.

    Maybe instead of trying to push Alex to be like the woman you WISH she was, accept her for the woman she is--once she knows that dresses and skirts aren't mandatory for aesthetic acceptance, she might even enjoy wearing them more (I know I did!)

    That said, a bra IS a must.

    1. Hmmm Zoe, you certainly bring up a valid argument and certainly choice is a very important part of being the person you should be, not what someone else thinks you should be...

      However, in this case and something I have been hesitant to bring up Alex is emulating one of the few girls who has been her friend for the last for years. This young person is great and I respect for all he has accomplished and will accomplish in his future. This girl is now a boy and is undergoing the transition including medical procedures. This is why Alex wants to be a boy so badly and why I am suggesting differently.

      Alex now dresses like this young man, and wants to cut her hair and other things off. Alex has also developed a huge crush on him and we are working closely with her counselor to help her understand that friends are friends no matter the gender. I will support all three of my children in whatever or whomever they want to me, as long as it is because this is who they are - not because they want to copy someone else who has been nice to her.

  2. The post made me chuckle.... sorry. But then the comments made me sober since I totally understand how complex the process of helping our children figure these things out that seem innate to other people. Whew!


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