Just a quick update on Grace…she’s doing fabulous! The surgery was a life changing event, and she’s continuing to heal and get stronger. I’ve spent so much time focusing on her needs, and I realized that I needed to focus on my other two children now that Grace was on the final stretch of her healing process. It couldn’t have happened at a better time…Haley announced she was asked to the prom.
“Announced” is an understatement. She shrieked, giggled and jumped around, which is quite out of character for my oldest princess. She’s been a princess since she was 2, and I even find her referring to herself in the 3rd person as “The Princess”.
With prom right around the corner (less than three weeks!!!) it was time to do some serious dress shopping. So, yesterday, we met one of Haley’s friends and her mom at the King of Prussia Mall. Note to moms: when you take your teenage daughter prom-dress shopping at the King of Prussia Mall, wear comfortable shoes, not cute boots with heels. Lesson learned after traversing the path from the Court to the Plaza and back again…4 times.
So, how do you make it a good experience instead of a stressful one? Make a plan. Talk to your daughter, and answer the following questions:
What is your budget?
What style of dress are you looking for? (Closely followed by “What style of dress do you agree on?”
What stores do you want to visit?
Then map out your game plan. I was pleasantly surprised that Haley was concerned about budget and modesty, without me having to say anything first. We started at JC Penney, where they had some very pretty dresses, but not what she was looking for. She wanted to look elegant, but did not want a ball gown. We moved on to several other stores, and visited one that specialized in formal wear. It was a zoo. It was hot and crowded, and there was a 30 minute wait for a dressing room. Once Haley had her selections in the dressing room, only one of the four dresses wasn’t ripped. Disappointing, to be sure. I suggested Nordstroms, and she hesitated thinking it would be out of our budget. But I had already looked on their website, and was stunned at how reasonable their dresses were.
Let me just say, their customer service is second to none. We pulled several dresses, and Haley humored me by trying on something that she didn’t like on the hanger. Of course, at 45 I know that things look different on than they do on the hanger. She soon learned the lesson, as she fell in love with the dress.
Before she made a final decision, she wanted to visit one more place, and the salesgirl offered to hold the dress for her, telling her if she bought it on impulse because she felt rushed, she’d regret it. My feet weren’t very happy at that moment, but off we went, only to return for the dress at Nordstroms. And then, lo and behold….THE dress appeared on the rack, where it had not been the first time we were there. It was exactly what she was looking for, and fit her like a glove. Salmon pink, elegantly cut, and completely flattering to her figure. Beautiful sequin and bead detailing, and when she put it on, she was no longer my soccer playing, headstrong, argumentative child. She was a poised, elegant, lovely young woman. I caught my breath, tried to hold back a tear, and saw my daughter all grown up.
I kept thinking about when she was a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, and all the years through her life. The goal was always to raise her into a self-assured confident young lady. I think I’ve done that, but I’d give anything to go back a few years, and just have that time to spend. She’ll be off to college soon, and it’s bittersweet.
Savor the moments, Mommies. It really does pass in the blink of an eye.
Karen Cluxton lives in Hatfield, PA, and has three teenagers – Halle 16, Owen 14, and Grace 13. Between shuttling kids to soccer, baseball and physical therapy, she trains in Mixed Martial Arts.