The 100 year old kindergartener

Tomorrow is the 100th day of the school year, or as it was known when I was a kid – Tuesday. Another odd thing to celebrate, the school gets the kids in on the action by doing activities geared around the 100 of it all. In kindergarten the students are asked to bring in one hundred various things (we were assigned goldfish crackers) and…dress like 100 year olds. There was a quick blurb with ideas about what 100 year olds dress like – glasses, pearl necklaces, floral printed dresses (which seemed to sound a lot like a Lilly Pulitzer ad to me) for the ladies and suspenders and fake mustaches for the gentlemen (which brought to mind firemen in “Movember”).

We bought a sweet powder blue appliqued sweater at Goodwill and set about trying to find a skirt to pair it with at home. But Little Sister deemed it “all wrong” and not at all “hundred year old ish”. “When I am a hundred”, she declared, “I’ll wear whatever I wanna”. She had a point there.

I thought that since I had girls I would pretty much be playing endless dress up with them – coordinating their outfits with matching bonnets, or at the very least hair bows, but as soon as they could dress themselves, my days were numbered. They both had a unique sense of what was beautiful, comfortable and an expression of them. Little sister wore swimming goggles almost daily for a while, whereas Big Sister preferred an Elmo shirt that I washed daily for her. Instead of missing out on dressing my babies – I was happy to see what getup they would emerge in each day. I will never forget watching big sister twirl in a full gown, with a crown on her head and an eye patch over her right eye as she softly sang “Crazy Train” to herself. I imagine that being 100 in terms of dressing may follow the same set of rules.

Tomorrow, I will zip Little Sister into a purple sequined cocktail gown. She will pull on white socks and then white canvas sneakers and we will top it off with a hat so red and feathered it would look out of place anywhere short of the Kentucky Derby or a Southern Baptist Sunday Service. She doesn’t wear goggles anymore, but she doesn’t need to – it’s all very clear to her.


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