Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Daughter in The Dress


When I was pregnant with my son Connor, I read an article in a parenting magazine about this Mom who, every year since age 2, took a picture of her daughter wearing one of her bathing suits from when she was first married. She did this every year, until the daughter fit into it at age 16, compiled them into a little scrapbook, and gave them to her on her 16th birthday to show how she had grown each year.

The bathing suit was an awful 80's style with a multi-colored paint smear pattern. Basically hideous. There was junk and all over in the background (hardly something you'd submit to a magazine). And the pictures were taken with a simple 35mm point and shoot with a washed out flash that left much to be desired from the printed pic. This aside,
I was immediately enamored by the idea.
Looking at all of the pictures side by side, I couldn't see any of that.
Only a sweet little girl growing up.

I'm sure a 16 year old wouldn't appreciate this gift as much as you would like, but once she has her own kids...it would be treasured.

I decided that day, that I would do the same when I had a daughter.
Except instead of a nasty bathing suit, I would use my timeless wedding gown.

Now when Eden was 2, I attempted it.
Boy howdy, the fight that ensued!
In the end, I had not a single picture, clumps of hair missing, a long scratch down my neck, a soaking wet sweaty shirt and a very red faced mad baby with tear stained cheeks.
Not the memory I was hoping for.
Each day I thought about attempting it again, then thought...maybe tomorrow.

The year she was 3 I was in and out of the hospital with the worst "morning sickness" of my life.
Each day I thought...Maybe tomorrow will be better, and we can try that picture

The year she was 4 I had a brand new baby and some lovely postpartum Hormotions that made deciding what socks to wear seem like a most overbearing task. But each day I'd think about that picture and how time was getting away from me and say...maybe tomorrow I'll find the energy and the time.

When Ada was born I told Grandma about the idea, and how I wanted to do it with Ada as well, you know, since it clearly has gone so smoothly with Eden. Then asked her if I could have one of her old beauty pageant dresses.
(Of course Grandma was a beauty queen, and so was Great Grandma...that tradition ended here with me, but that's a story for another day...)
I digress...
She gave me a gorgeous Tiffany blue vintage 70's gown that her mother made her.
And each day I thought...maybe tomorrow I'll pull that dress out and take a pic with tiny baby Ada just laying on it, and I can get out that wedding dress and do Eden's picture...maybe tomorrow.

Now my girl is 5 and my not-so-baby is 18 months.
And last night as I laid in bed at 3 am, not sleeping, and downloading my annual lists of "to do" regrets, the picture popped in my head again and I thought...maybe tomorrow my back won't hurt, and Ada's 2 bottom molars won't hurt and she won't hang and pull and yell at me all day, and I can finish that laundry, and maybe even mop that mystery stick off my kitchen floor and then maybe, just maybe, later tomorrow I will have the time and energy and patience and strength to do that picture.
Then I got mad at myself.

9 years I've had this idea.


And it hasn't happened.

That's ridiculous!

So first thing this morning...

I finally put aside my "maybe tomorrow" and convinced myself that no matter how crazy things were...

Ok, so I had a little fun with it as well...



This is the shot I will recreate every year
(really this time)


So gradually I can see how she grows into it.

She declared that it was
"the most gorgeous princess dress EVER!"
and then begged me if she could have it for her wedding.

Now I'm not going to lie.
This was not easy.
Ada thought for extra visual effects that it would look better with an "Ada" sized lump standing under the train.
And that it would really be super if she "helped" by slamming the lens cap back on as I was trying to take a picture.
Or that some cooking utensils would make amazing props strewn all over the dress.

She was very involved in our creative process.

Which is funny, because when the Tiffany Blue dress came out...she wanted nothing to do with us.
We even tried the wedding dress again, but apparently she decided at that moment that she was camera shy and so over this idea.

Eden, my perfect little model, of course was more than happy to take her place.


That Great Grandma is one talented seamstress!

And with that...my maybe tomorrows are a thing of the past...
well, with this at least.

I'm going to put all of the pictures side by side in a scrapbook and give it to her on her wedding day.

Now you know you have something sitting in your/grandmas closet that would be totally amazing to do this idea with... DO IT!

Happy Creating!!

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