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What I Learned from the Yellow Dress

We were at Costco. It was about a week before Easter and Addie spied it from across the warehouse.

It was a frilly yellow dress with flowers and ribbons, from the way it was cut it looked like it would twirl and twirl well.

She simultaneously gasped, sighed and looked up at me with her giant blue eyes and said “OH! MOM!”

I’ve known for awhile that her nicer dresses have become quite snug on her, some even beginning to rip at the seams around her ever expanding ribcage. I knew she needed a new dress but I just didn’t want to face the arguments, the price tags and the mall with her, so when the yellow dress showed up in Costco for less than $15 and appeared to fulfill her every dream, wish and desire? It was an easy yes.

Before we even left the store she asked if she could go into the bathroom to put it on. When we got in the car she asked if she could put it on “I promise I’ll duck down so no one can see me change!” I told her she had to wait until we got home.

She ran her fingers over the layers of frilly fabric for the whole drive and as soon as the car was in park she was out the door and changed before I could even bring the groceries in.

“MOM! LOOK AT IT TWIRL! OH MOM! IT’S PERFECT!”

She was so happy.

Then somewhere deep inside of me this mean lady began to bubble up inside of me. “Don’t you play in that!” “Don’t you dare get it dirty!” “Don’t roll in the grass!”

I hate that mean lady.

The next morning when she woke up the first thing she did was put on the dress. She wore the dress all day and to the museum that night. The next morning when she tried to put the dress on again I stopped her, it had a few dribbles on it and sort of smelled like it had been used to dry a car. I told her she couldn’t wear it again until it had been washed.

This growing up thing is just as hard is it is for her as it is for me. Part of me wants to tell her to keep her clothes nice when all she wants to do is run and play in a fancy dress. She’s still a little kid. I feel like I keep missing these moments of her childhood in some sort of effort to see her as an older kid when she’s still very much enamored with frilly dresses, princesses and unicorns.

Oh Addie, I’m sorry the mean lady inside me ever told you not to play in your dress. She just doesn’t understand.

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