Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Something borrowed

"Mommy, can I see your wedding dress?"

The question caught me by surprise. She never asked before.

Shrugging, I pulled the huge box that holds my wedding gown out from the bottom of Mark's closet. The box is crushed a bit at the top. I wondered if the dress inside was still in decent condition.

Carefully prying the lid off of it and gingerly removing the acid-free paper from the top, I turned the box toward her.

"Wow," she sighed, catching her breath. "It's beautiful."

She crouched down to get a closer look.

"You can't touch it," I told her.

"Why?"

"Well, you might have dirt or oils on your fingers that could stain it and someday maybe you or your sister will want to wear it for your own wedding, so I want to keep it in good shape."

She sat gazing at it for a few seconds.

"It has glitter," she remarked, referring to the beads on the bodice.

I studied the gown with her - remembering snippets of that wonderful day nearly 10 years ago and trying to wrap my head around the idea of either of my daughters someday being big enough to wear it, never mind old enough to marry.

What will they be like? I mused. I hope they are happy and free and loved and safe. I hope they are independent and strong and kind and wise and fulfilled.

She stood suddenly and hugged me hard around the neck. "I love you, Mommy. Thank you for showing that to me. Someday when I'm big I will wear it."

I don't know if either will ever want to wear it. It will be their choice. But I'm happy to save it for them. Just in case.

I carefully replaced the paper and the lid and returned the box to its spot in the closet where until yesterday it was nothing more but an old dress with some beautiful memories woven into its satin and lace. Now it is something more: Promises, hopes, wishes and dreams that I hold for my daughters - expectations made on borrowed time.

Topped off with a little glitter for good measure.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Chris Curtin said...

Great story.

With two daughters older than yours we've been through this as well. Do you have a video of your wedding? My daughters would watch it every day if we let them when they were younger.

My youngest still watches the videos of her and her sister when they were little. I loaded them all into the PC so they can stop/fast forward/ pause etc.

Must be a girl thing.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Oh Kim.. this was beautiful!!!!!! Seeing as I have two boys I will never even have this option .. what a beautiful post!!!

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Beautiful. I wore my Mom's wedding dress from the early '60s in 1993. I had to have it totally refurbished (with her blessing, of course) because the lace had frayed and yellowed. I remember telling my Mom that Mike and I were getting married and that I wanted to see her dress. Tears welled up in her eyes and she rushed to her closet to get it out for me. I was nervous at first, but she convinced me not to be afraid of it...that it would be gorgeous on me. I remember stepping into it and crying as she buttoned 28 tiny fabric-covered buttons up the back.

Now, it's packed away...sealed in "airless" packaging (whatever that means) for the chance that Amanda (my daughter), Hannah or Meghan (my nieces) might want to wear it someday.

Thanks for sharing your day with us... it was BEAUTIFULLY written by a BEAUTIFUL (1998) bride.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Pink & Green Mama said...

awwww..way to make me cry, thanks.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Awww, how lovely!

My dress was in the style of a Victorian ballgown, and I wore it a couple of times to costume balls afterwards. As it turns out, I have two sons, so I guess it worked out that I didn't have it boxed up!

3:06 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

That is so sweet!!

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Shirley said...

Mine hangs as 'soft art' in my grandaughters' toy room. I love looking at it because your grandmother and I sewed every bit of it from the beading on the appliques to applying the appliques to making the gown itself. We did the same with my long, long veil.

On the lighter side, it also reminds me that I once had a 21" waist.

12:21 PM  

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