Dear New Dress,
When I first laid eyes on you, I knew you would be mine. In an instant, I fell in love. The way you hung so proudly amidst the racks of patterns, it felt as if you were waiting just for me. From the moment you were purchased and so beautifully wrapped, you must’ve felt on top of the world. Swinging in my shopping bag you anticipated what a fun and new adventure would await you. Glamorous brunches? Romantic vacations? Candlelit dinners?! The thrill of a new life hung in the balance ahead of you. Surely it wouldn’t be long before we would discover the world together. For now, you decided to wait and see. Unfortunately, my dear new Dress, you will have to wait.
I know by now you must be accustomed to your new surroundings. Once proudly displayed in a bohemian-chic storefront, you now find yourself nestled in the polyester menagerie that is my closet. I hope you’ve at least become acquainted with some of your new neighbors; the unsung heroes of my former life. There are pencil skirts and blazers from my days working the restaurant scene. My wedding shoes that while only worn once, will be forever loved. The rows of handbags that line the top shelves – a collection that grew well before I had a mortgage and kids. And sitting in the back is you. Waiting.
Darling Dress, I’m worried as you start to consider your fate, you’ve begun to grow angry. How selfish was I to take a dress like you for myself when I could’ve left it behind for a chance at a life well lived? Each morning, as you watch me grab yet another pair of leggings from the endless pile, you must wonder if I’m still thinking of you. If I see you. I know you see me when I’m sorting the laundry or making the bed. You spy the many dresses and other beautiful things hanging beside you and have noticed they, too, are waiting. Gorgeous clothes with brilliant patterns that have seen beautiful weddings and even more evenings out. Sure, some are old and stained, and some are too snug, but still, they wait. A silent homage to my pre-mom life.
The truth is Dress, I don’t brunch as often as I’d like, and the last vacation I took was my honeymoon. I’m sure my life would be a big disappointment to some. To the “wanderlusts” of Instagram for instance, who spend their time traveling to far away places, my life may be a living nightmare, but it’s not to me. Instead of drinking bellinis in Positano, I happily sip my box wine from the comforts of my couch. With each twirl of a dress or boomerang of a champagne toast I watch. It’s as if each double tap of my finger on the screen echoes back quietly “someday……someday….” in my mind. Someday soon Mom life will afford me the chance to travel and for now, I’m okay with that. I just worry about you, Dress, as I assume you’d prefer not to wait too long.
I promise Dress, that while we may never share champagne in Mykonos, I have a plan for you. While at times you may feel like an afterthought know that you mean so much more than that to me. To me, you are a glimmer of hope. Hope that in the near future my husband and I will get to take an evening off from being “Mom and Dad” and go on a date.
You will hug my curves in the perfect way and will remind me of how swiftly I fell in love with you. You’ll tag along as my Husband and I dine together and enjoy our dinner (while the food is still warm). We’ll find a dark corner in a local bar and indulge in cocktails and the thrill of uninterrupted conversation. These brief moments of “freedom” we spend so long waiting for will likely come full circle as we share stories about our kids. As always, the days of a parent can be stressful and long, but the love is all-encompassing.
I want you to remember this, Dress, whenever you’re feeling forgotten. Know that in the early morning hours when I’m pacing the house with a fussy baby, I see you. In the late afternoons when I’m dealing with an endless sea of tantrums from an overly tired toddler, I see you. When I’m cleaning, when I’m cooking, or even when I’m attempting to squeeze in a morning workout – I see you. While you may never grace the Instagram feeds of many, or garner “likes” by the thousands, you will always mean so much to me. You are a gift I’ve given myself. A promise that while I embrace the “ups” of motherhood, and take the “downs” in stride, I will never forget that it’s okay to take a break to remind myself what it’s like to be “me”.
This is so indicative of some of the items in my closet. They are too pretty for morning rush and school drop off. It’s good to know I’m not alone.
You are not alone, Charmaine!! It’s not a crime to have a love of pretty things as long as we make time to wear them on occasion.