I sit here looking at pictures of my beautiful 17-year old daughter, dressed to the nines for her Junior/Senior event. Initially, I am struck by the finely styled hair and lovely dress, but then my attention is drawn to something far more precious; it’s the pride and self-confidence shining in her eyes. It’s subtle and not near as glittery as her dress, but it’s there and I sigh in the knowing; dresses and updos are part of fashioning her sense of value and worth.
The end result that everyone sees in the pictures did not come together without a hitch. In fact, there were multiple bumps along the preparatory path. For one, the dress was a labor of love from the start! We had purchased it several years ago for another event. The plan was to have it restructured and altered to wear again.
What should have been a simple process of explaining what we wanted and picking it up later ended with me pinning the dress together in the dress shop as the seamstress looked on in complete befuddlement. Even after returning home with the dress, I still had to pull out my needle and thread for some final tweaks and adjustments. But oh, the end result was indeed a vision.
The hair did not magically do itself either. What I would have done to have a fairy godmother’s wand around 9:30 the night before after three unsuccessful styling attempts! I always fix her hair for these events, but I can definitely say I am not the queen of the updo. But by Saturday, cooler heads prevailed and we crafted a serenely suited coif to perfectly match the mood of her dress.
Now, I can smile at those mishaps because those are the memories that she and I will share forever. Still, the real value of the whole experience far outweighs the beautiful pictures. As a mama, I was investing in her. By going through that process, with her and for her,
We were fashioning her sense of value and worth, which will serve her well in life when this formal is but a distant memory.
In the end, we want daughters that understand their value and know that it has little to do with what they wear or how they style their hair. Oh, I totally understood the importance a teenage girl places on these milestone events and I did everything in my power to make it right for her. On the surface it may look like only dresses and updos, but I know that this event, like others she has experienced along the way, is also a building block in her formation.
My beautiful girl is growing up and I am privileged to get to enjoy the journey. I just wish it didn’t have to move so fast.