So there she was, in a salmon-colored ruffled number, wearing lip gloss, and what else...her fancy shoes! She didn't want to smile too much when I was taking her picture because her lip gloss might smear! Then, she walked ever so carefully to the car, acting like some kind of royalty. I made a mental note to make her wear this enchanted pair of shoes on occasions when I need her to behave.
The first Sunday after I bought them, she asked permission to wear them to church and I reluctantly agreed because we were running late. Who would have thought that something I didn't want to buy would turn out to be so helpful! Not only did she keep still, she actually sat like a lady and participated in mass. God must have really blessed those shoes! In my family, we were told to always wear our new clothes to church to have them blessed on the first Sunday after we acquired them. I had forgotten about this ritual until she wore them that day.
Anyway, at the restaurant, the maitre d' greeted her by her first name followed by the wait staff. "Dad! They know me here. Everyone knows it's my birthday! I'm speechless!" she told her father who was texting me a blow-by-blow account of what they were doing. "Can I order iced tea please?" It was her first full glass of iced tea. Before this year, she didn't know what that tasted like until I started making her sip and eventually split a glass with me. What can I say, my children are deprived, and I'm afraid they will blame me for being icedteaholics when they grow up. But then again, I thought it added to the specialness of finally turning seven and being able to drink something "grown-up" for the first time.
I wish I could tell more but the rest of this story is between her and her father. For some reason, something went wrong with my cellphone connection and I didn't get any other message until they were on their way home. So be it. What I do know is that this particular night will forever be in her memory bank filed under "Why I Love My Dad".
I know this because hours after they had arrived and she had changed into her pajamas, she couldn't sleep. She kept hugging her dad like he was her man. The last time she did this, she was probably four years old. "Thank you for taking me out tonight, Dad" she whispered. I had a lump in my throat as I watched her, and a new admiration for my husband. Then flashes of a debut... and a wedding in the distant future with Mr. Fancy Suit dancing with Miss Fancy Shoes. Sigh!