I was in the car this morning with three, sweet four year olds.  As I drove and listened to their banter I smiled, it was innocent and beautiful, silly and ridiculous but their laughter and joy filled the van.  They were giggly and chatty, as they always are when they first get together.  I love hearing their little voices calling each other by name and catching up on the details of the days they’ve missed.  It never ceases to amaze me how children can spend hours with their friends and the next time they see each other, whether it be hours or days later they have countless details to relay.


As we drove past a local dress shop all three of them immediately turned and started claiming the dresses that were “theirs”!  “I get those three…those two, in the first window are mine…”.  There were wedding dress and prom dress, fancy gala dresses and flower girls dresses.  Every time we drive past this particular store their window display has changed and each and every dress is as beautiful as the next.  Sometimes there are sparkly pink dress, other times they are poofy and blue.  Regardless of the fashion the dresses have a natural draw to all girls.  Sometimes as I drive by I have the inexplicable urge to stop and try something on.  I shake my head back to reality when I remember that I really have no reason to wear dresses like that.  While just trying them on would be super fun, my self-concious 33 year old self always takes charge, reminding me that I’m not young anymore and I’ve had four babies.  Maybe one day when my girlfriends and I are feeling particularly nostalgic or silly we’ll venture into one of those shops and just pretend we have a reason to be there.


But this morning as I drove all I heard was the precious voices behind me living in the dreams we’ve all had as little girls.  Dressing up for our imaginary ball, pretending we were real princesses putting on first one dress, then the other and still another for countless fancy parties.  As I listened to them claim their dresses my mind flashed 10 years ahead.  I envisioned the fun of picking out beautiful dresses for prom, trying them on and preparing these sweet, little ladies for an evening to remember.  It wasn’t a moment of sadness as I thought of them “all grown up”.  It was a moment of excitement and anticipation at preparing my little girl for the special moments she will one day participate in as a young lady.


I remembered the days leading up to my prom, the joy of shopping for a dress, then deciding to have my very talented mother sew me a wonderful dress, deciding on just the right hairdo, putting make-up colors together and as I continued to listen to the sing-song voices behind me I envisioned the privilege of experiencing all of those special moments with my daughters and their friends.  Hoping and praying that I am able to build into these precious, little ladies so that one day they will want to share the joys of these amazing events with me and their moms.  For a brief moment I could visualize myself standing with an arm draped around a beautiful young woman, dressed in her fairytale dress, smiling with great enthusiasm and anticipation of the experience to come.

I realize there are going to be bumps along the way.  Some smaller, others probably much bigger.  I have no way of knowing what the journey will look like or if it will even encounter these wonderful memories in much the same way my own growing up years did, but for the moment I can relish the fact that my little girls, and the little people in their lives, are dreaming and hoping for a moment in time to be the princess, the belle of the ball, and while I’ll continue to assure them that God has already made them to be the most beautiful, precious, worthwhile individuals, I will also look forward to seeing the radiance in the moments when they can look in the mirror and see exactly what I already know is there.



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