Friday, August 11, 2017

My Secret Happiness

Can I tell you something? This is just between you and I. At this moment, I am the keeper of a special and beautiful dress and I am deeply touched.

My stepdaughter is getting married tomorrow. We have known each other since she was six. We have played, talked, laughed, danced, been serious and been funny together. I had an anxiety attack before I even knew what they were when she went on her first date. The clock was one minute past 11 pm and where was she? She was home at five minutes past 11 smiling and happy and I felt silly sweating bullets.

Her mother says I am not her stepmother, that I am more than that. I am her “other” mother. I love that.

So my secret? For the past two days, I have her wedding dress hanging here at my house.  I am the caretaker of this loveliness. I see the delicate ivory tulle peeking below the cover and I am secretly thrilled. Thrilled to the point of teariness. What an honor and responsibility to be the keeper of my daughter’s wedding dress.

After attending four dress fittings with her, I feel very close with my stepdaughter, with the dress and with the seamstress. It’s intimate to be in a small room together discussing the details of the fit of the bosom, the waist, the hips, how to lace up the corset and how to button the train so that it becomes a bustle. 

At the first fitting I stayed back, not wanting to be a pushy MOB, “other” or otherwise. But when asked what I thought, I gave a supportive and I hoped, a calm opinion. I must’ve been ok because the seamstress asked me to come back for the next fitting and the next. I felt honored.

When she was younger, my daughter would ask “how do I look?” before going out with friends.  She was so beautiful, once I said “you could wear a paper bag and still be beautiful.” At the time she looked at me quizzically, not sure if that was a compliment or not. I assured her, that she is and always will be beautiful inside and out.

On her big day, tomorrow, she will wear her beautiful gown in front of 150 people and she will be stunning. 

But for now, the dress is with me. My own personal connection with my darling daughter beginning her new wonderful life.