Do you think, in her day, that Charo dropped her own kids off to school in the morning? Stop for a second and imagine what that might look like. (Or are you not old enough to know who Charo is… yikes!) I’m not sure if she did but I don’t even have to close my eyes to picture it. I just have to be at my daughter’s school at 8:05 AM Monday through Friday to see Charo (or her look alike) “cootchie, cootchie” her child to school. I LOVE people watching and the Mommy Parade that takes place every morning ranks amongst the best!
I was thinking, you can tell a lot about a mommy’s life by her drop-off attire, demeanor and routine… It’s like a fashion runway of sorts. So, without further ado, welcome to the Mommy Parade. The most diverse runway show around:
This morning, the Charo-Mommy is dressed in skin tight, sparkling black, leather-look leggings with hot pink Candies (Remember those sandals? They’re back!). She’s paired these with an equally tight fluffy white short-sleeved, low-cut, scooped-neck angora sweater and, in keeping with today’s look, a lacy, hot orange Victoria’s Secret peek-a-boo-strap, push-up bra that’s working double time this morning. Her big blonde hair is perfectly coiffed in a Dolly-Partonesque-style and her nails — fingers and toes — are impeccably splashed in matching hot pink and orange with white feather air-brush art tastefully dabbed on each. Make-up, it would seem, has been applied professionally this morning. We’ll have to ask her secret. She has definitely NOT given up on herself. And, her bubbly personality matches her flashy wardrobe.
Three cars back, here comes Going-to-the-Gym-This-Morning Barbie-Mom. A cute little pixie cut frames her impeccably but naturally made-up face and the baby blue spandex-enhanced velvet capris with matching cropped jacket that are gently soothing to the eye and, I’m certain, the touch. The outfit is complete with the requisite white leg and arm stripes and a matching white iPod Nano strapped to her bicep with a soft pink cell phone clipped at her waist (in support of Breast Cancer Awareness). Oh, and there it is folks. The pedometer right beside the phone. Yes, it’s a good “I still take care of myself” look as she bounces down the runway, with her matching daughter, to the school’s lobby doors.
Business Mom has just left her child at the front gate. With a quick hug and an over-the-shoulder wave, she turns and we see she’s wearing navy blue and pinstripes today, tailored into a well-cut and well-fitted pantsuit. The ensemble is topped off with a feminine white cotton blouse and tastefully understated pearl accessories. Keys in hand, we can see her fashionably pointy and spikey high-healed shoes are not quite as practical as her professional business look but she’s making it work… like everything else. Get out of the way, ladies, she’s in a rush to get to the office this morning.
Safety-Drop-Off Mom rounds the corner, making a Brooklyn stop (meaning she’s cruised through the stop sign with a brief tap of the brake just to satisfy the traffic officer who might be watching… the Crossing Guard recognizes her car and knows her game). She’s disregarded the Mom at the opposite stop sign and cruises into line to take her place on the mobile runway that is the Safety Drop-Off. Though we can’t see the entire ensemble, the t-shirted shoulder at the driver’s window is doing the Miss America wave to the other runway contestants she knows. Uh oh, looks like junior forgot to grab his back pack. Vaguely annoyed, she jumps out and rushes around the front of the vehicle (inconveniently holding up the line), and we see she’s sporting fashionably shabby-chic jeans with faux wear on the butt and thighs. And, I’m wrong, it’s not JUST a t-shirt ladies, it’s bedazzled across the chest with “Old Navy” in faux Austrian crystals. Pony-tailed hair and Ked’s slip-on sneaker skids complete the look. Very young. Very today. Simple but chic. Naturally she is sans make-up and it looks good on her, girls!
Looking down the runway, the Mommy Parade continues.
Around the corner, the I-don’t-follow-the-Rules Mommy has pulled to a stop in the “No Stopping” zone. As she shouts “Hurry!” and “Have a great day!” to her child, we see she’s casually dressed for a work-at-home day today in black stretchy pants and an oversized t-shirt. As the automatic door on the mini van slides closed behind her child she hits the gas to avoid the wrath of the principal who’s out there trying to keep the de-busing zone car and clutter-free for the arriving buses (whose unlucky moms miss the parade every day).
The Stay-at-Home Mom is bringing up the rear. Pushing a double front-to-back stroller, the under basket is filled with backpacks. There are 2 children behind her meandering along. She keeps up a casual pace (because she can) in her flowered capris, comfortably paired with an empire-waisted Vera Wang apron top. Reasonable leather flats are perfect for walking this morning. Her hair is neatly combed and held back with a modest head band. Yes, it’s a good, relaxed, put-together look.
Here comes New Mom (sometimes referred to as “Pajama-Mom”) rounding the corner. She’s passing Stay-at-Home Mom with the car-carrier baby carriage. Not sure she’s done her hair or make-up this morning and those might be lounge-pants with matching top (I saw them at BJs Warehouse last weekend when I was Food Shopping with Disco Danny). Very comfortable for lounging… and apparently for running to school with your little ones. It’s a classic New Mom look folks. Gotta love that!
And, then there’s me! Yes, I’m an integral part of the Mommy parade in my own right. I fit right in and I am not alone. Here I come, the Haven’t-Left-The-90s Mommy who prefers to be known as the I-Know-I’m-Outdated-Stay-At-Home-But-Have-Too-Much-To-Do-To-Bother-With-My-Outfit Mommy. At least I’m dressed, right? I might be in jeans or capris in the circa 1995-style — either inexpensive or, more likely, the only ones that still fit me (maybe both) — and I’m probably wearing a Kohl’s special, extra-long printed T shirt — either the bright orange one with recycling emblems or the lime green one with tie-dye peace signs donning the front. I’ve done my hair and make-up on the run so it’s a halfway there frazzled look that goes with the clothes (halfway dressed, halfway to 2009 or halfway to school? I’m not sure). My running shoes are strictly practical because I’m always on the run but not to the gym, though I’d like to be. I NEVER park in the no-stopping zone (rule follower that I am… Besides, I don’t want the principal yelling at me… ever again!) and I wait and watch my child walk her own runway. SHE is impeccably coiffed and dressed in perfectly appropriate and up-to-date — but absolutely NOT-HANNAH-MONTANA-ish — 7-year-old attire. I stand on the sidewalk outside the open door of my 10-year-old mini-van so the boys can wave goodbye with me. (I can’t be the Safety-Drop-Off Mom even if I wanted to because the automatic sliding door doesn’t work anymore.) I shamelessly blow kisses to my daughter, waving and openly hugging myself (as a symbol of hugging her) before she reciprocates then disappears through the doors. With an ear-to-ear smile and love in my heart, I’m off for the boys’ morning drop off and another eerily similar Mommy parade but with a Queensie twist. The NYC burrough of Queens has it’s own special style that includes a lot more Heel and Hairspray.
This Mommy Parade takes place in Nassau County. Also known as NYC suburbia! It’s a fascinating mix of people, cultures, types and styles. And, I’m sure I offer the other Moms as much people-watching entertainment as they offer me. We are a melting pot of moms. We all know each other. Respect each other. We say hello every morning as part of our Mommy Parade morning routine. And, our children play together on the play ground after school. We mommies clique just like the kids despite our best efforts to discourage them from it and despite our different styles. Because underneath it all (and I’m not talking skivies, God help me, but deeper than that), we are all Mommies who love our children and are doing what we can and need to… not just to get through the day but to embrace our roles and our lives.
I LOVE the Mommy parade!
Still, next year, when the boys (who, in case you didn’t hear have an extra 21st chromosome… commonly referred to as Down syndrome) attend kindergarten back in our home school district, I hope to graduate to the “Stay-at-Home” Mom with the stroller full of kids and backpacks and a more up-to-date but still practical wardrobe.
A girl can dream….