- 3/31/2008 1:45 AM ET
Jacqueline - Thank you for sharing your beautifully written and seamless story about your daughter's coming-of-age. It is touching. You are both so fortunate to have a very special bond.
|The moment I saw it, I thought of her. For the last seven years that light blue dress has hung in my closet. I never even took the tags off. Once in a while I would take it out and just stare at it. I would admire the color, how it shined when the light hit it in just the right way. I loved that fact that it was simple but elegant, stylish and classy. Every time I saw it, I thought of her; my Krystal and the dress. It would be her Quince dress.
I think of when she was born. She was so tiny and I was apprehensive about everything. Through the poopie diapers and the sleepless nights, I wanted to protect her from everything. Back then I lived in the moment; I wanted to enjoy her the way she was and not look too far ahead. When she was little she was such a little girl, with her Barbies and doll houses. She loved to make things for me, she was eager to please. She loved me unconditionally and she wanted me to love her just for being her. I loved her for giving me those moments to cherish. I wonder if she ever really knew just how much I loved her back then. I wonder if she ever realized that when I saw something that reminded me of her I would treasure the moment she came into my mind.
To say that when I brought the dress it was too big for her would be an understatement. It was about 6 sizes too big for her when I got it, but one day it would fit her perfectly I thought. She of course would do what all little girls do when they play dress up and tear it off the hanger and try it on many times over the years in the hopes that that day would be the day she would try it on and it would finally fit her perfectly. “Look Ma, what do you think? Maybe we can get it alternated to fit right.’ All I could do was stare at my Krystal and the dress. At the time it would drag way past her feet and the straps would fall off her shoulders. It puffed out where boobs should fill it. And the back was too low cut for any young girl her age. In fact the shawl was the only thing that fit right. I said to myself one day you will be able to pronounce the word altered AND fit into that dress perfectly.
Now some time has passed. Years have come and gone with that light blue dress still hanging in my closet, shielded from the elements with its tags still dangling from it, just like the first day I got it all those years ago. I still take it out sometimes to look upon it and I smile because it still makes me think of her. Another new thought now creeps into my mind, what if she doesn’t want to wear my dress for the purpose I originally had in mind? I realize now how presumptuous of me that had been and I repeat this scenario each time I steal a moment away with the dress.
Now while the dress has remained the same she has not. Over the years she has blossomed from that poopie diapered baby to the Barbie doll playing little girl to a beautiful, independent young lady; sometimes with a spicy attitude but still eager to please. It was not always easy; over the years she has brought me to the lowest of lows and then taken me to peaks higher than anyone will ever know. We have grown together even when I was positive that we had grown apart. I realize that we are not too different. I have heard her way of thinking and find that the cliché about the apple not falling far from the tree is now finally coming true for us; believe me, there was a time when I thought that my apple had landed on the moon.
I wonder if she realizes how much I love her now. I wonder if she realizes that when I see something that reminds me of her I still treasure the moment she comes into my mind.
A few weeks ago while planning her Quince; she finalized how she wanted to celebrate. Of course pictures were a must, but what about a dress? We would have to get one soon. When she said, “What about the blue dress, Ma” I almost burst with happiness. She had chosen my dress as her Quince dress without a second thought. But would it fit? Although she had grown several inches and her body had filled out nicely in places boys liked, I thought about the last time she had tried it on, it would need to get altered to fit her right or we would have to get her another one. Still, I was ecstatic that she thought of my dress first, even without trying it on to see if it actually fit.
There it was still hanging innocently in my closet. She took it down gingerly trying not to drag it on the floor. As I went about my household duties, she put the dress on. When she came out to show me how it fit, all I could do at first was just stare at her; my Krystal and the dress. She was no where near picture ready, but there she stood, barefoot with a cap on her head and wearing the dress. It no longer dragged by her feet or fell off her shoulders. It puffed out because there were now boobs in place to fill it, and the low cut back was perfect for a young lady her age. She still can’t pronounce the word altered correctly but the dress fit her beautifully in all the right places. The dress would be her Quince dress.
She hugged me tightly; the way she does once in a long while when she wants me to know that she does in fact love me. I treasure those moments. But this time was different, she hugged me longer, she hugged me tighter, her smile lingered longer. My eyes tear up as I look at her. It’s like I am seeing her for the first time all over again. I think back to all those years ago when she was born. She was so tiny and I was apprehensive about everything. Back then I lived in the moment I wanted to enjoy her the way she was. I could not see us this far ahead. I see her as a different person now, no longer a tiny baby or a little girl, but as a young lady, still eager to please and yes, with MY spicy attitude. I want to enjoy this moment, the way she is now; past the poopie diapers and the Barbies, through the high peaks and low valleys. I love her for having given me these moments to cherish. Our eyes locked and our smiles lingered longer. I still can’t believe it, she is my Krystal and she is wearing the dress.
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