In a few weeks, we will head to South Carolina for a family visit. It dawned on me yesterday that we should probably make sure that M has something suitable for the (hopefully) warmer weather. Sure enough, last year’s shorts and t-shirts are just too snug anymore. It called for some summer clothes shopping, which was good timing considering that it was raw and rainy outside, with snow in the forecast. We needed the distraction from Mother Nature’s prevailing mood.
Before heading to the store, there were a couple of shirts that I tossed into the “storage” pile. She could still get them on, but they certainly did not fit her growing, lithe body. I was surprised when she was a bit upset that they did not stay in the “keeper” pile.
But, Mama, they’re my favorites. They’re comfortable.
It wasn’t lost on me that growing children do not have the same luxury as adults of adopting long-term comfort clothes. If you look in my closet, you’ll see that I still favor a few shorts and pajama pants that are relics from the late night study sessions of my first year of law school . . . sixteen years ago. Still, despite their threadbare status, they give me comfort more than chills and so they remain.
But children? They can’t get attached like that. Maybe that’s a good thing. It means they’re growing, right?
When we got home from our very short shopping excursion—she needs no convincing when it comes to soft cotton dresses—it was still quite bleak outside. She was going to play princess in the living room while I cut up some potatoes for the night’s dinner of salad and homemade fries. The front door was open to let in as much light as we could on that dreary Tuesday.
Then I noticed it: the way the light hit the tulle of her dress in the doorway. These mere photons of light propelled me backwards along the space-time continuum with such unexpected force.
I was immediately transported back to my mother’s house when M received that dress for Christmas in 2011. Unsure if it was mere minutes or light years ago, I could still remember how smitten she was to have received her first “fancy princess” dress. I took this picture that day, seeing a future bride, perhaps, but certainly the love of a little girl and her Daddy.
Yes, the hem hits higher on her now lanky legs, and it’s a bit harder for her to bend and breathe. The outer layer of tulle has since been trimmed away due to the snags incurred from years of dancing. But this dress? It still, somehow, has enough room left to provide her with the comfort that youth and imagination have to offer. It is still fit for a queen.
Copyright (c) 2014 Kristen M. Ploetz