We were at her school’s mother-daughter dance.
I still remember my cheeks burning as the tears ran down my face.
How I was paralyzed with guilt, hiding in my car...
How I wished the ground would open up and swallow me whole.
That exact moment is etched into my memory in perfect, painful, detail.
But this story starts a few days earlier.
My 10-year-old daughter had come home from school and told me that there was a mother-daughter dance Friday night and she was really wanting me to go.
She was so excited!
Hearing she wanted to go with me… well, it was unexpected to say the least.
She’s at an age where she doesn’t really want to be seen with me.
Moms are so “uncool”... at least her mom was.
So when she asked me if I was available...
I was almost overwhelmed with disbelief…
My daughter wanting me to go with her… to be seen with her... was all that I had ever wanted.
I wish I could've frozen that moment in time… to have her stay my little girl forever.
My swelling sense of pride burst through my self-doubt like a butterfly coming out of it’s cocoon and I immediately said “Yes!”
I was so grateful and I decided right then and there that I was going to make this night special.
A night to remember.
So, we went all out in preparation.
First thing we did was go shopping to get her a new dress.
Dress after dress she looked absolutely perfect in all of them.
But when she put on a beautiful blue sparkling sleeveless dress…
Her eyes sparkled and her face lit up as an unbreakable smile crawled across her face.
She could hardly contain her excitement, but trying to be cool she said:
"I think I like this one...Can I get it mom?"
"Sweetheart you have never looked more beautiful, of course you can."
She thanked me and wrapped her arms around me with a firmness I haven't felt in years.
But at the same time it made me aware of the extra softness around my stomach…
It felt like my back was absorbing her arms.
Almost on queue she lifted her head and looked up at me asking me
"What dress are you going to get?"
My joy was stripped away to dread as I realized I hadn't worn a dress in years.
I hadn't been able to get the zipper even a quarter of the way up on any of my old dresses…
Even the one my husband used to love the most…
For over a year.
I was terrified to find out what dress size would fit me, I couldn't ruin this moment finding out.
"I have a better idea, let’s go get our nails done!”