June 27, 2012 was the end of a stage of my daughters young life and the beginning of another one. She had found the “perfect” dress in her grade eleven year while out shopping with one of her closest friends, and had called excitedly to ask if we would allow her to buy it. Ever the bargain hunter, Melissa had found her dream dress at a consignment shop for a mere $50. She had already texted us a photo of her wearing the dress and her friend insisted that if Miss didn't buy it herself, she was going to buy it for her!
Now, more than a year later, I helped her by carefully curling her freshly dyed hair into a pile of ringlets and pulling it back. She slipped into her dress and added the tiara she had found the week before ($11!) and declared herself a “freaking pretty princess”. I had to agree. I carefully applied make up leaving her to do her own mascara. This princess is far too jumpy for anyone else to apply her mascara!
Her Royal Highness allowed me to take some photos in the back yard before I rushed off to her sister's grade seven graduation (which merits its own post :) ) Her grandmother was coming soon to pick her up and take her down the mall for the classic car parade, a tradition which began after I graduated in this town some years ago. She would be met there by her biological father who had flown out from Alberta to be here for her grad. :) It would be some hours before my husband and I would see her again.
When we got to the school it was HOT. I found myself sitting between my ex and my husband and was struck that, even though I wish her biological father had been more involved when she was small, Melissa is blessed to have two dads who get along and I am also blessed to think of my ex as a friend. I did wonder if I would have to send the two of them to time out, however, as they got sillier and noisier as time went on. Excitement and shared pride, I guess? At any rate, the grads finally filed in and the ceremony began.
As a side note, I should add that sitting in bleacher for any amount of time is agony for both my ex and my husband. They are both prone to bad knees and hubby even had hip replacement surgery when he was only forty! The great Canadian game has really done them both in. Hockey is dangerous for more than just concussions. ;)
Anyway, the time was finally nearing for Melissa to take her walk. Both dads positioned themselves in the aisle and with not a little difficulty, got down on their knees to take photos. Miss later told me that they had her in stitches of laughter calling eachother old and wondering who was going to help whom up off the ground!
When she turned the corner to cross the room, I was there waiting to take her picture and give one last hug. She had tears in her eyes and reached for me. Talk about bittersweet! My little girl, the one with whom I lived alone for two and a half years is now in a position to leave me. I know that I will always be her mother and she will always be my baby and that we have a special relationship which won't ever end, but I also know that it will change. Perhaps more gradually, since she is not in a hurry to leave home, but it will change. Mixed with the pride is a little melancholy. Her sister started high school and it won't be long before she has her time of leaving. I guess to everything there really is a season, and motherhood has been such a blessed time for me.