Christine’s first word was, “shoe.” It should have been my first indication that by
age seven, she would be a fashionista: “A person devoted to fashion clothing, particularly unique or high fashion.” (I had to look it up in the “Urban Dictionary!”)
“Mom, can I uplift your outfit a bit?” she once asked me after seeing what I was wearing.
“Mom, why don’t you wear THIS?!” she often asks while fingering through formal gowns in the back of my closet, finding it hard to believe they aren’t part of my daily attire.
“Salice Finds Her Style” was the name of yesterday’s book that she created in pencil and paper. I couldn’t help but think she was third-partying me while I read it and recognized myself in her descriptions of her poor, fashion-handicapped character, Salice.
Although we know people, and especially children, spell love, “T-I-M-E,” Author Josh McDowell says that it is not enough to spend time with our children. In order to really speak their love language, we must spend time doing what they love. I suppose that is why my shoulder is still sore from a soccer injury almost one year ago! I was only trying to speak my son’s love language by being his goalie!!
I am sure McDowell’s advice was still on my heart when I planned to celebrate Christine’s 8th birthday last year. I know my tea-party days may be limited as her birthdays advance, so I wanted to go to a place of which I had heard: “A Southern Belle and The Yankee Tea Room” in Apex, NC. I let Chris in on the secret, so he could participate. He was all set to meet us as a surprise, dressed in a suit and tie.
Here’s where her love language came in:
“Christine, for your birthday today, you can pick whatever you want out of my closet, and I will wear it. You can do my hair and makeup – using the REAL stuff! And I will take you out for a mother-daughter shopping day and tea party.”
“REALLY?!!!!” she said with a priceless smile of adult teeth squeezed into a kid’s mouth, while her freckles seemed to equally beam.
I bought her a “southern belle” costume dress and promised to do her hair and makeup as well.
After our makeover party in my bathroom that morning, we headed to downtown Apex, to explore the adorable storefronts, beginning with the coffee shop for me. (Since I am not a big fan of shopping, every shopping friend of mine knows that a coffee stop will extend my shopping endurance.) Next was the used-book store, where I paused to let her read her treasures in a comfy recliner, just her size. In our formal attire, we strolled arm-in-arm to the décor store, “My Girlfriend’s Closet” consignment shop, the fancy clothing boutique and finally ended at the teashop. As we sat to place our order, a tall, dark and handsome man walked in to top my present with a precious bow – Daddy.
We enjoyed the finger sandwiches, scones, candied nuts and even chocolate covered potato chips next to our cups of raspberry chocolate tea. When it was time to leave, I asked if she wanted to ride home with Daddy, or me and of course her knight was chosen. Chris and his princess namesake walked hand in hand toward his Jeep that was parked just outside. My car, however, was a few blocks to the right, so I strolled with a smile on my face, while people hustled and bustled around me, busy in their day, unaware of my extraordinary morning. I thanked God for these moments as a stay-at-home mom when memories were created that I hope last forever, since the tea parties won’t.
Suddenly I felt stares. All morning, Christine and I had been the subject of glances, as people smiled approvingly at our morning out. Now, I walked alone past a restaurant with a table of ten ladies enjoying an outdoor lunch when I suddenly realized the subject of their stare: me! I was wearing blue eye shadow up to my eyebrows, hot pink lipstick, crookedly streaked blush and a formal teal gown with a bow draped to the ground. Alongside my daughter, I had felt like a queen to my princess, but now I must have looked like a lady of the night, making my walk of shame to my car for my morning’s trip home. Hee! I got the giggles as I walked, adorned in embarrassment, but I held my head high; because my dress wasn’t for those ladies. It was for my princess. And she had left with my knight in shining armor in his chariot. Blessings abounded.
May God bless you with memory-making-moments!
Someday I hope to have a little princess of my own! For now I get to enjoy my two little knights, the oldest one just entering “big boy pants” stage. Thankfully we don’t yet have any chandeliers to obstruct the flight path of his 4T undies. 🙂
I love your stories, Terri, and learn so much from you through them. Thanks so much for sharing with us! (And thanks, Lindsey, for letting us read over your shoulder.) 😉
Terri, this story always makes me smile 🙂 I can just picture how amazing this day must have been… Even the walk of shame back to your car made the story even better! Keep ’em coming, you’re awesome!!
Terri- this is beautiful! Thank you for sharing! May 12 2012 God blessed my family and I with a beautiful little girl Jade. I was holding her today thinking how I can’t wait to spent my time doing things she enjoys doing as she grows up. I grew up with a mother who never did anything like this. She raised us the best she knew how. I am thankful to have a chance in rasing a daughte. You are an amazing mother, wife, daughter and Role model for so many women to follow
What a totally cute and wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it!
I smile every time I hear you tell this story. Making memories is awesome especially when our children remind you of them later.
I love this story!! thanks for writing it down and sharing it!
Abby and Christine are very much alike… Our time together is “Girl Time” so she asks for it often… Can we have girl time. This year for her birthday we are having a tea party theme party. She asked if she could wear a beautiful dress she wore for a quinceañera for her party, after I agreed she asked if I could wear one too, one that twirls she said… I have several gowns, but nothing that “twirls” so I said why not… Off to the Goodwill we went she found it immediately… wouldn’t you know it, the bright ORANGE dress was just my size and “twirly” enough to satisfy her. But the look wasn’t complete, she decided i needed shoes too… she got some 4 inch BLUE heels. I know that God was in all this because as we went to pay came to find out that the dress was on sale for $10.00 and the shoes for $5. Her birthday party is on the 25th of the month, I can’t wait. When I washed the dress and hung it, she quickly went to her room and brought hers out and put it right next to it. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog. You are a blessing.
That’s amazingly coincidental. Have fun on the 25th! It is sure to bring memories that last!
Hey Terri, I love this story, thanks so much for putting your amazing parenting into words of wisdom 🙂
Thank you for reminding me to stop and create memories with my little knight!
I love it!!!! You are so inspiring, to take more time and make those cherished moments!–And what I missed as a mom, I can hopefully make up for it in being a better grandma! Thanks everyday!! Love and appreciate you,
That was beautiful Terri! Thank you for reminding us of what really matters concerning our children. The lesson that it doesn’t matter what people think; to be willing to walk “the walk of shame” for the sake of our children’s hearts was priceless! Love ya!
What a fun story–thanks for sharing your words of wisdom!
I love this story!
I can so picture doing this with my little darling. She was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for the entire afternoon and evening today.
Terri, what a wonderful story! I will always remember the tea party you and I had with her where she dressed all three of us up, hats and all, and we drank honey tea and ate raw cookie dough. (My favorite!)