Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I've spent the night going through stacks of clothing in my daughter's room. My widowed friend has a motherless daughter who is growing and could use some. My daughter has lots of too small ones.

She always has had a sense of style, much more than me. I dressed much differently as a teenager; she's always had such body comfort, whereas I was awkward with all the rumbling and sprouting below. I envy her this in a way. Yet as a mother, still uncomfortable with showing cleavage (I even tried one time during a romantic dinner out with my husband. We kept laughing at how I self-consciously kept pulling my shirt together. Geez!), I've always had the sense of discomfort when seeing her being so bold, even though I admired her beauty. Yes, I think our symbolic differences with dress and modesty impacted the relationship we don't have today.

Yet as I went through her closet, I kept remembering our shared female delight of pretty things like skirts, shoes, ribboned shirts. I remember, for a formal business get-together, trying on fancy dresses. My daughter was right in the dressing room with me, trying on women's dresses whose necklines plunged down past her little girl belly. She was in heaven, prancing around in the grown up beauty gear. She always wanted to be fancy.

She told me two days ago while at the front door that she won't be going to prom afterall. Her dress cannot be altered soon enough for Saturday night. It's a neck-plunging number which made me again think of our differences when I saw it. She looked sad, and so did I, but dresses never lie. That same dress was crumpled up on her closet floor a week after she bought it ~~ a valuable thing tossed aside. What has happened to the small girl smiling up at me, twirling around in her gown, trusting me with her dreams? I tried not to betray them, yet other factors have stepped into the changing room with us. This princess-ball prom won't happen this year for her.

I think my friend's daughter will like some of these clothes. She's a wonderful girl, and I keep thinking of how she will have fun going through the sacks. She's a big t-shirt dresser, though, an athlete, more like I was as a kid. Tomorrow, my son and I will deposit the clothes on their front porch. May she dig in with a tempered glee.

It has been a purging night. I think God is allowing the feelings again for which I'm thankful. Maybe He's allowing them for her too.

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