Thursday, October 27, 2011

the dress

Dear Em,
This is a photo taken 28 years ago of a little girl who was just about your age- me. This is just one of thousands of photographs taken of me as a child. It might not seem like a big deal to you. We have over a thousand photographs of you from just your first year, but my childhood photos were taken in a different era, an era before digital technology. As a mommy, I can't even imagine snapping photos of you, having no idea what image I actually captured, waiting a couple weeks to develop my photos, & paying for them whether I liked them or not (I'm not even going to get into the difficulties of photo sharing). I can tell you one thing, there would be an awful lot of photos capturing the back of your head as you run away.

I'm so blessed that your nonnie worked so hard to capture my childhood memories.

In most photos I look very similar to the picture above: perfectly posed & all dressed up in pink, bows, ribbons, & lace. Your nonnie claims that I liked dressing that way, but I've always believed the outfits were her idea. Clearly, the excessive frills have led to my current avoidance of sporting anything pink or anything that requires tights/nylons (which I talked about here). I've spent most of my life shaking my head at many of my childhood memories. I can't believe my mother dressed me up in outfits like that everyday. I mean, it's the top.

This particular outfit always kind of reminded me of Little Bo Peep. So, when sheep became one of your loves, I asked your nonnie if she still had the dress for you to wear...for Halloween. Sadly, the dress didn't survive all of our moves, but Nonnie did still have the pattern & some of the fabric she used to make my original dress. Your nonnie (who is so loving & creative & talented & giving & amazing & we are so blessed to have her in our lives) made this year's Little Bo Peep Costume from the same fabric & pattern as my childhood dress.

It finally arrived in the mail earlier this week, & we talked to your nonnie on skype while we opened the package. It's so amazingly beautiful (really, she is so talented). I put each piece of the outfit on you while your nonnie set me straight. She had actually made the original dress for me to wear to a wedding I was going to. I loved the dress so much that she tried to get as much use out of it as possible during special occasions (hence the above portrait).

When I had finished dressing you in the dress, your nonnie & Papi & I watched you giggle & exclaim, "I'm so beautiful!" You twirled & laughed & jumped up & down & called Daddy to "come see me!" It was so surreal to watch you shine in MY dress. In that precious moment- to have your nonnie & papi there (even if they couldn't really be there), to feel your excitement resonate throughout the room, to listen to their stories of me wearing the dress, & to watch you twirl so sweetly- my heart just overflowed. It was...well...magical. Which is fitting, because for me, that is what Halloween is all about.

After seeing you beam in the dress, I finally believed that it probably was me, and not your nonnie, who loved the frills & the pink & the ruffles & the lace. Whoops.

I love you so,

* Readers, I'm hoping to have pictures of Em in the dress to share by Tuesday. In the meantime, Happy trick-or-treating to you & your little loves*

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