Shopping with royalty

TiaraToday was Prom dress shopping day for the last prom ever to be celebrated in this household, so my daughter, her friend and I set out around 10:30am.   We had about an hour’s drive to get to the closest David’s Bridal so by the time we arrived close to our destination, we stopped for lunch.

Next stop was the dress shop which proved to be low on stock, therefore, disappointing and fruitless, so we had to go elsewhere to continue the quest for the perfect dress.

By the time we reached the mall, I was feeling the effects of the heavy lunch and starting to feel like I could curl up on the dressing room floor and take a nap.  I shook it off like any self-respecting trooper would do as I had to be fully alert for the fittings and price tags.

My youngest is quite the princess and enjoys the fanfare of modeling the dresses over and over (and over) for me and whatever loyal friend comes along for the show.  The decision on which dress to choose is of vast importance and can’t be rivaled with our trivial banter.  It’s serious business.

Three stores and at least ten dresses later, we think we may have found the one.  Now mind you, the left-behind friends have been group-sent pictures of every one of the dresses and although they are not there to enjoy the drama, their opinions are discussed and are definitely a large part of the decision.  So, while the lady in waiting for the day takes pictures and then reports what each loyal subject has to say about each dress, I wait and watch asking the price every now and then.

We found THE dress so I paid and she thanked me.  I sighed a sigh of relief that the search was finally over and home was in my near future and then remembered the shoes. I mean, what’s the perfect dress, without perfect shoes to go with it?  Thankfully, the shoe search was an easy one.  She feel deeply and passionately in love with the second pair she tried on and at this point, I didn’t even look at the price, just bolted for the register where I got a little jolt when the very pleasant and understanding cashier gave me my total.

We were finished, at least for today.  Yes, I know there will be hair and makeup and accessorizing in my immediate future.

It was 4pm and I was exhausted.  It amazes me how just a few hours of shopping nowadays can turn me into a zombie.  Shopping used to be like a crazy, happy fuel.  Oh wait, that’s because back then MY mom was the money tree.

I am finally home and honestly, all kidding aside, I had a wonderful day with two great kids.  My daughter is blessed with faithful loyal friends, (several of them) and I’m thankful for that.

I will miss this. Every, single, moment of it.   I am grateful that I’ve been blessed with amazing girls and so happy that they share their lives with me and enjoy my company.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

The Weekly Photo Challenge email said, “In a new post created for this challenge, share a picture that says CHANGE.”

As my throat constricted in the way that is so familiar lately, I knew exactly the change that my photos would represent. You see, my youngest is about to graduate from high school. I’ve been very brave all year, put on a big smile and was very careful to embrace every moment and capture as much of it as possible with my mind’s eye as well as with the lens of my camera.

Now, it’s crunch time. The date is set, the announcements are ordered, the yearbook pages are done, the banquets are beginning, and my life as I know it is about to undergo one of the biggest changes a parent can encounter.

As the calendar makes haste, without any care for my heart, towards May 31, 2013, I try to keep smiling and laughing and pretending things are perfectly normal. They are not. My husband and I will soon be empty-nesters, left alone to our own devices; no games to attend, no late night clock watching and “hurry home” texts, and no going into that messy room to wake a groggy teenager.

Thankfully, I know that we have raised her well, she has God on her side and she knows the plans He has for her. I have to remember we have accomplished much in that she is ready to go out there and make her own way in this big ole’ world. This is life, as it is meant to be.

We will make it although there will be many tears and much missing. There will also be phone calls and visits and texts and sharing of news, and more change.

This heart will trust in the One she has always trusted in for herself, her marriage and her children. There truly is a time and a season for all things under the sun. There is giving, taking and letting go. And through all of the seasons of our lives, He is there.

I wish it were me

My girls

My girls

I wish it were me instead of you.  If I could take your pain upon myself, I would.

How many mothers have said that over the course of your child’s life?

Whether soothing a feverish infant, watching your toddler get their shots with tears rolling down your face, waiting for that daredevil adolescent to have the cast put on or holding back the pony tail of a puking teenager, we’ve all been there.

This pain doesn’t have to be physical either; it can also be emotional.  Those cruel words spoken by a classmate, that first break-up, insensitive teachers and all the other situations they face as they grow.  We know these are life circumstances they have to bear alone, with our tender guidance.

I’ve often wondered what what my girls think when I utter the words,  “I wish it were me instead”.  They might find them comforting or maybe even hard to believe.  The truth is; they will never understand the sincerity or truthfulness in them, until they have a child of their own.  One of mine does understand completely now as she has already experienced this very thing with my granddaughter.

Another thing I know is that our feelings never change, no matter how old they are.  I’m still fairly young myself but I’m firmly convicted that “mother-love” is undying.  It’s too strong to die this side of heaven.

I can imagine being 90 and one of my girls suffering physical or emotional pain.  I know what will come to my mind and the words that will flow from my mouth.  “I wish it were me instead of you” and I will still mean them from the bottom of my old heart.

Heartache in the making

English: High Heels on pink background

Do clothes really make the woman?  I think we all know the answer to that and it’s a big negative.  However, you have to admit, there is just something about getting all gussied up.  It makes us feel good to look our best.

I had the pleasure of taking my daughter and her friend shopping today for that perfect dress and shoes for a special event.  Both of these young ladies are very girly and have been known to be somewhat picky, so I was dreading the hours of scouring the stores, possibly to no avail.  The road trip to the particular store they had in mind, took about an hour.  I got to listen to them talk and sing and laugh and ask me how much longer.

When we arrived, they started by rifling through the racks to see what was available.  After tossing several over their arm, they headed to the dressing room.  Then they proceeded to try on, turn, twirl, take pictures of each other, try another and then try on the same one again.  They look to see who might be looking at them, and hope for some input.   There is something about the look on their face, when they find “the one”.  It is quite different than the look on my hubby’s face when I tell him what it cost us.

The moment when my daughter says, “Thanks mom, you’re the best”, is the highlight of the day.  You see, I’ve already done this with one daughter and I know that she will be gone far sooner than this mama’s heart is prepared for.  This is why I relish these invites and tolerate the aching back and forget about the money spent.

This is my youngest daughter’s last year of school and every “event” is making me emotional.  Just thinking about it, my heart has a pang of grief in advance for the times that I know are coming.  Next year at this time, when I think back on this, I will have the memories and the knowledge that she has them too.  I will also take comfort in knowing that every time I possibly could be, I was there.

Mitch Teemley

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