If you're here looking for this week's Hodgepodge questions, you'll find them here.And now for the rest of the story. Weekend. Wedding dress tale. If you missed the part where I almost told the story but then left you hanging, you can read that here.
So, the dress. I mean The Dress.
A wedding dress should have capital letters don't you think?
A lot of expectation goes into a planned day of wedding dress shopping. To be honest I was prepared for a little bit of anxiety/tears/snippy snip snips because a. I'd been up traversing the nether regions of D.C. until 1:30 in the morning, and b. girls and their clothes.
My daughters are sweet as pie by the way, but girls and shopping and mothers and opinions...well, sometimes those things collide in cataclysmic ways.
And sometimes they roll into each other with such perfection that you have to think hard to remember a day that was better than Saturday. Right now I honestly can't.
In spite of the ridiculous amount of sleep we didn't get, we all woke up feeling cheerful. We had a 10 am appointment at a bridal salon so off we went, no coffee and a bag of pretzels in hand, which I have to say made for a less than stellar beginning, but still...it's DRESS DAY!
The sun was shining, and a gentle breeze was blowing, and it was like God smiled on us all the day long. Daughter1's roommate is getting married this summer, and she bought her dress in this particular shop, so we were hoping for the same consultant. Daughter1 thought she was so sweet and liked her manner.
Sure enough, she was ours, and she was a gem. She spoke directly to the bride first, but also asked what I had in mind. Mostly I explained that Daughter1 always cares a lot about my happiness, and today I would like her to get the dress she wants. Barring something scandalous in design or price, I wanted to hear Daughter1's opinion before I weighed in with my own.
Shopping this particular weekend was a bit of a last minute plan decided upon after looking at my too-full June calendar. Flying Daughter2 in was definitely last minute, and worth every single solitary cent it cost. My girlies have dreamed about this since forever, and it was important to have her there to share in the looking and deciding, the reassuring and all the oohing and ahhing. Plus I needed someone sitting close beside me as I braced for what was coming, and she's used to me.
I guess nothing completely prepares you for the sight of your daughter in a wedding dress, but there she is. It's the first dress that does you in, at least for me it was. That's not even the dress we bought, but it doesn't matter. In that moment you accept the reality of the little girl in your head standing on a dais before a three way mirror. She's smiling at herself in a wedding gown like a full grown woman, and your heart beats a little too fast or maybe not fast enough. You take a picture in your head because you know you'll want to return to it again and again and again.
When Daughter1 waltzed out in dress number four, I knew.
I knew because in that dress I recognized her, my girl. The bride. The daughter I birthed who loves music and art and words and Jesus, not in that order. The girl who can make me smile when I want to cry and cry because she makes me smile.
She spins and turns and smiles and steps up and down and back up again. She dances and laughs at her own happiness. What do we think? Do we love it? Is this the one? We say we're going to have some lunch and a think and we step outside into the glorious sunshine and she says, 'I think I want to go back in and buy that dress.'
We go to lunch anyway, and we talk and everyone exhales, and we know. We cancel our later appointment in the city and we go back in and buy that dress.
The consultant didn't try to press us, but one thing she said stuck with me. She said in her experience, when a bride doesn't want to take off a dress, then that's usually her dress. And she was right.