OK, I'm not going to lie to you. It was a moment of weakness. My older daughter and I were out for a stroll in the little beach town where we vacationed this summer when her eyes lit up. She let go of my hand and dashed away from me. My eyes, on the other hand, grew wide with terror when I saw what she was running towards-a vintage photography studio.
You know what I'm talking about. You dress up like outlaws complete with Mae West outfits, an authentic saloon for a background, and guns and whiskey bottles to tote. As soon as I saw her paging through the book of sample photos, I knew that I was a goner. I remembered doing the very same thing at Disney World with my mother when I was a child. I'm sure she must have felt the same way I did at this moment.
"Mommy, this is the absolute coolest thing I have ever seen. Can we do it, can we?" She pleaded with her entire body, wriggling like a live-wire in front of me.
"Well, I guess so," I hesitated.
But a tentative yes was all she needed. She dragged me to the photographer and told him we were his newest customers. A bustier, fishnet stockings and a feather boa later, I was up on the bar smiling sheepishly as passersby in the mall stifled their laughter by covering their mouths. Luckily, the nice, young photographer walked us through a few very benign poses as my daughter directed what kind of expressions she wanted us to have.
"We have to look like we're from the Wild West, Mommy. We're outlaws. We need to look kind of mean," she said.
I didn't feel very mean. I felt like a 40-something mother sitting up there in a silly, ill-fitting costume on the faux saloon for everyone to see, but I gave it my best shot. And I have to admit, the picture is pretty cute.
When we got home, she displayed it proudly on her bookshelf for everyone to see. Curious, I dug out the old photo of myself and my mother at Disney World. Ironically, I looked about the same age as my daughter is now. I immediately recognized the expression on my mother's face-somewhat pained, but willing to take a shot at being an outlaw for the sake of a 10-year-old girl.
Amanda is the mom of two girls, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here every Monday.