Finding the dress

This year has brought us so many changes. My daughter is a young woman. Her determination continues to take her to new heights. Her sweet personality, her empathy, her compassion have made her a valued friend, a trusted confidant, and an essential teammate. She’s earned two Varsity letters and is working toward the third. She maintains a high GPA in advanced classes. Her teachers and coaches speak highly of her.

And now, she’s preparing for one of the many rites of passage in high school: prom.

As a mom, I was a bit apprehensive about shopping for the prom dress. I mean – – this dress has to be beautiful, it has to be a statement. And (here’s where we might diverge on opinion with the trends) it has to be appropriate for my daughter.

{An aside: She’s a freshman. I was supposed to have three more years!}

Dresses are expensive. They’re an investment. And unlike the bride’s maids assurance that “you can totally shorten it and wear it again,” this is a dress that only makes one grand appearance.

Today we ventured into prom dress central and browsed through the hundreds of choices. They don’t look like much on the racks. Lace and mesh brought fear to this mother’s sensibilities. Slits and peek-a-boos made me want to avert my eyes.

We were on a mission: two piece, mermaid cut, high collar, open back, red. It was mission impossible…

Instead, we found dresses that met a few of the criteria, but not all. Assured by a website that we could “custom make” the dress of her dreams without extra charge, we hoped to pick the right style and worry about the mission’s directives when customizing.

The dressing room was already crowded – – and it was only a few minutes after the store’s opening. Mothers stood tensely next to doors waiting for their daughters. Daughters fussed around inside these cubes, rustling fabric, fighting zippers, and adjusting everything before emerging with apprehension and anticipation. The reveals were mixed: Gasps of appreciating awe and appalling shock inhales.

Bonita. Perfect. No, no, no. I liked the other one. Hmmm….

The discovery of pockets in some skirts met with giggles and pure joy. What a concept – – pockets!

It was as though we had become members of a new sorority. Sisters whispered, “You look amazing.” “I love that color on you.” “Wow.” There was a bonding over taffeta and satin. And girls – correction, young women – stood ever-prouder as they admired their beautiful and diverse shapes in the mirrors.
Inside that stuffy space confidence grew.

I cannot wait to help her put on her gown. I am excited to apply the final touches to her hair. I am eagerly awaiting watching her adorn herself with jewelry. And I am getting the tissues ready for when she meets up with her date and he sees her with new appreciation for the beautiful young woman she is.




her: Mommy, I need help.
Me: what do you need?
her: I want up. Hold me.
how can I resist cradling my ?

It’s real now

I opened my email Monday to find two messages that I was expecting.  I didn’t know that I wasn’t ready: ready for the inquiries, the discussions about me (without me), ready to share my blessing. But there they were – a letter from HR confirming my transfer and a note from my new colleague welcoming me.

Immediately, I felt that stirring in my stomach. I looked around my room, which in that instant became a squatting space.  Ten years of accumulated materials, textbooks, and student samples sit on shelves, are filed in cabinets, and are tucked into corners.  Ten years. 

I contemplate who I should share with – do I even share my news? And as I pass through my day, I look at each colleague a little differently. Through the ups and downs, the disrespect and the slights, this has been my home away. I know custodians,  cafeteria staff, faculty, and hundreds of students.  And they know me. 

I read that email from my new department head several times. She captured my sentiments with a knowing empathy.  I feel guilty. I feel elated. I feel… 

I’m moving forward in my career. It’s an answer to a lengthy prayer for change. I’m trusting this is a move I’m meant to make. 

I’m heading to the shark tank and hoping I can swim.

Finally, a snow day happened for me!

Slush, ice, water. No complaints. It earned us a few early-announced snow days.

King of improvisation determined that our snow was merely colder water and thus he could boogie board down the hill.  Aside from a few steering issues, it wasn’t a bad idea at all.

Ri latched on to these neighbors… she liked the friendliness and loved that they willingly shared rides on their double sled.  The girls’ dad stood guard to protect them from the briar pricklies at the end of the run.

Chi discovered in her single run on the big sled that steering was not an easy task. She also figure out that the heavier rider should ride in the rear.


“Mom, I’m sick.”
“No, you’re not, Ri. You’re tired.”
“Mom, I’m sick.”
**beep, beep, beep*
“Ri, you are sick.”
“I’m tired.”

Picking colors

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