I took my daughter shopping today. Our mission? Buy a dress for her senior prom. She hasn’t bought anything super “fancy” for any of her high school dances up to this point (her winter formal dress, for example, was $10 from Ross), so I was prepared and encouraging her to splurge a little bit on something she absolutely loves. We weren’t sure where to start or if we’d accomplish this mission, but we set out to do our best anyway. We ended up in the junior’s department at Macy’s (thanks for that tip, Denise!) and found about four dresses in her (teeny tiny) size to try on.
You guys, oh my gosh.
My little baby who I feel like I JUST had is, like, a woman. How did this happen? She looked so stunning in every single gown. Because she’s so petite, she’ll pass for much younger than she is for a long, long time, but those gowns added years to her. Even without her hair & makeup done or high-heels on, she was transformed right there in the Macy’s dressing room.
I’m probably making way too a big a deal of this, but you know how you get those moments as a mom? The ones where you look at your kids, and you realize that your “big job” is almost finished? Yeah, well THAT was the moment I had there in that dressing room with her today. My big job raising this beautiful creature is almost finished. I know she will always need me, and I will always be here for her. But her childhood is careening toward its end, and it’s so freaking bittersweet.
These last few weeks of her final year of high school will be filled with so many fun, exciting moments: senior activities, prom, graduation, grad night. It will whiz by in a flash that I know will leave me standing there, going, “What the hell? Eighteen YEARS passed so soon?!” I’m already doing it. I was doing it today in that damn dressing room, watching her spin around in sequins and tulle.
How do our hearts not explode with emotion? How do we congratulate ourselves on a job well done and release them into the world to pursue their next steps? Our hearts must just grow and expand with each and every milestone until we’re at the point that the pride just overshadows the holy-hell-my-baby-is-grown feeling. Sometimes my love for this kid is so big it hurts. She’s so amazing – a whole, compassionate, beautiful, smart, funny ball of delight. And she is literally a part of me. It blows my mind sometimes.
She tried on all four dresses. I had a favorite but kept my mouth shut because I wanted her to get the one SHE wanted with zero input from Mom. Each one was lovely. Each one made me catch my breath. But in the end, she decided on the one I secretly liked best. I clapped. She is going to be just stunning in it. She is going to do her hair & makeup and don that lovely gown. I will cry, and she will humor her sentimental mother. She will pose for pictures with her date and spin around in that beautiful dress with a smile on her face and light in her eyes. She will have a night to remember wearing that dress.