Playing Dress Up

Posted on June 22, 2009. Filed under: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , |

When my four daughters were younger, their grandma kept a large bin full of dress-up clothes–prom dresses and bridesmaid gowns she’d purchased from garage sales over the years. With many granddaughters, the dress-up store in grandma’s basement was a crowd favorite, and the girls thoroughly enjoyed putting on fancy dresses and feather boas, with mardi gras necklaces and high heels.

Now, they’ve grown up, and they no longer play “dress up,” but do the real thing. Pretty, glittery, shiny, and flowing Homecoming, Winter Ball, and Prom dresses abound the closets which once held a toy box full of dolls and balls. It’s special, seeing them in glamorous dresses instead of blue jeans and tee shirts is spectacular. But, I’m not quite ready for the ultimate daughter dress up of all time.

Our oldest is getting married. Her wedding dress is all picked out, and she’s naturally a vision of beauty in white. Teary eyed and all, I watched her try on dress after dress, and like they say, when you put on the “right” dress, you know it right away. Then, her three sisters all tried on bridesmaid dresses, and they, too, were just beautiful in their gowns. They finished with their fitting and looked over at me. “Mom, it’s your turn. You have to have a dress, too.”

Mother of the bride. I never thought of myself as a mother of the bride. I’ve always been the bride here at our home. Well, the bride, the mom, the cook, the nurse, the laundress, the chauffeur and the maid, but never the mother of the bride. And on September 26th, I’ll have to sit and watch our four growing or grown daughters in their crowning beauty as they stand at the front of the church for what is the biggest day in our family’s life. It’s the first time that I won’t be in charge, at the head of the program…I’ll be sitting back and watching it unfold, taking a new role, the mother of the bride.

But, I need a dress – a dress appropriate for a mother. One that still has a hint of the style and class I had when my waistline was pre-children, but one that also says I’m Old Enough to Have a Daughter Who Is Old Enough to Get Married. The dress must depict the style of the wedding, but also be just enough different that it isn’t confused with the wedding party. It must be tailored and expensive, yet, understated enough that it blends in so it doesn’t compete with the bride and her three sisters. It must say that this is the final chapter in my role of raising Sam, and acknowledge that there are still three books yet to finish. The perfect dress must say that I’m proud, yet be forgiving enough to still look elegant when I’m crying. And, the only head it must turn is that of my husband.

Alfred Angelo, can you design a dress for a slightly middle-aged, proud mother, that fits the description? Because I can’t seem to find one that is special enough for the occasion.

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