Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Little White Dress from Mexico

Isn't it amusing when a seemingly insignificant item begins to symbolize something much more significant?

For me, that item comes in the form of a little white dress from Mexico.

This little dress symbolizes a journey. A journey that can almost define a large portion of my married life.

The story of the little dress begins nearly three decades ago.

I have an aunt (my mother's sister) and uncle that have lived in southern New Mexico for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl my family lived in Kansas City so we didn't get to see my aunt and uncle very often. One summer, we loaded up our big, blue van and drove the fifteen-ish hours to visit them. I don't really remember much about this particular vacation, but I do vaguely remember crossing the border into Mexico. We shopped and Mom bought a large bottle of vanilla. We ate tacos (which I vividly remember were not nice to me and gave birth to my nickname, Stinkpot). I don't remember if each of us kids (there are four of us in my family) got to pick out a souvenir, but I assume that is what transpired. At the time I was less than ten years old and was in the height of my doll playing days. I spied a booth with several small, beautiful dresses hanging around it. I loved looking at the dresses and chose a white one with black and pink embroidery. My innocent little girl mind thought the dress would be perfect for my Cabbage Patch Kids back at home.

The dress ended up being quite a bit bigger than my dolls, but I dressed them up in it anyway. I didn't care. That dress was a treasure to me and I loved it.

Eventually I grew out of playing with dolls. My Dad built my sister and I hope chests and the little white dress went into the hope chest to be saved for a little girl who took her time in coming.

I kept that little white dress in the hope chest for the next decade and a half. When I was twenty-two, I married my husband and the hope chest and little white dress were moved to a small townhouse in the middle of the city we started our married life in. Every time I opened the hope chest, I saw the little white dress and hoped that one day I would have a little girl to put the dress on.

We started hoping for a little one just a few months after we got married. We waited and hoped and, still, the little white dress stayed safely tucked away in my hope chest.

Two years later that hope chest and little white dress were moved four hours away into a little apartment. Finally, five years later, our sweet little girl joined our family and the little white dress emerged from the hope chest.

I had to wait a while before my little girl was big enough for the little white dress, but the moment was magical when it finally happened.

Now days, the little white dress resides in a chest of dress up clothes. My girl loves to put it on and play in it, so much so that I had to repair a duo of busted seams just yesterday. As I was sewing on the dress, all of these memories came crashing down on me. The little white dress has become a lifetime of hopes and dreams finally fulfilled.


Chelley N said...

Beautifully written!

Anonymous said...

I love this post!