This past weekend my daughter and I participated in a “Mommy and Me” fashion show at a local department store. I found out about it through Instagram and after explaining what a casting call was, I asked her if she wanted to give it a try. To my surprise, she excitedly said yes so off we went.
When we got to the store, I was filling out paperwork and the coordinator asked her to walk the runway. She began walking the makeshift runway and I could tell she was shy and hesitant. She did it all with her big, bright smile, but I didn’t ask very many questions that afternoon because I assumed she wouldn’t be selected. I had overheard another Mom ask some questions and heard the response, “the Mom’s will hang back as the girls walk,” so if she did get picked, I was comfortable with this arrangement because I didn’t know how keen I was on me having to participate! The next day I got an email requesting we come in for a fitting and confirmed the show for Saturday at 2 pm. We made plans to meet the next evening, but when I arrived on Tuesday we had a conflict in times and never connected. Friday night I got an email requesting we arrive earlier so both of us could get fitted for our dresses. Both of us?! That’s when I started to PANIC – I clearly misunderstood my role in this if I needed to get fitted too. Luckily, I had a hair appointment that I had scheduled months ago to get my hair highlighted in preparation for my brother’s wedding next month, so at the very least I’d look put together with a nice color and blow out! I started thinking about I have at least ten more pounds I need to lose in order to feel comfortable. I am almost 7 months post partum and am feeling extremely out of shape, I’m going to look like a cow. All of this negative self talk was getting me more worried and then I realized how selfish I was being. Change your perspective, I thought to myself. If your five year old can do this, you can too. This will be a fun experience and something she will always remember. I learned positive self talk years ago after my accident and practice it religiously, almost daily. There’s almost always something I am trying to overcome or negative thoughts I am trying to dissuade. This was no different.
We arrived at Lord and Taylor around one in the afternoon and that’s when the fun began. There were a few gorgeous coordinating dresses for us but we both loved a particular pair, a velvet shimmery dress for my five year old and a bold, floral pattern for me. They asked if we wanted our make up done, and of course my daughter said yes, so off to the Clarins counter we went.
It started with the personal stylist suggesting I get “a little bit of color on my lips” and ended up with a full face of some gorgeous make up, which is not typical of my Momrobe. My daughter got some shimmer on her cheeks, a little eye shadow and some gloss and she was in heaven.
Next up was our prep down the runaway and I didn’t even think to ask my daughter if she was nervous because I was. She was excited, there was music blasting and the atmosphere was energizing. She knew her dad and two Aunts were in the audience, so her goal was to find them in the crowd, smile and walk the runway.
We were in the middle of the group and the stylist explained that we would walk up on the platform together and the mom’s would “hang back” and let the girls walk first, then when the girls returned to the platform, we would take our turn down the runway. Ah, that’s where the confusion was- I didn’t hear the rest of the sentence! I don’t know that it was a #tbiproblem or just a #momproblem that I didn’t pay attention to the rest of the conversation last Sunday. At this point, it didn’t matter.
The music started and the host started announcing the girls. I was still feeling self conscious, but had been distracted the past hour because I was enjoying the moment and memories I was making with my oldest. We had so much fun getting our make up done together and wearing coordinating dresses. I watched my daughter twirling in her velvet dress, and I knew I could get through this one minute walk in front of a group of mostly friends and family of the participants! Again, I thought, if my five year old can do this, I can too.
We were announced and my daughter and I took our place on the platform. After a few seconds together I encouraged her to walk down the runway and as I watched, she began marching down the aisle and then stepped boldly onto the platform at the end and posed for the photographer. Ha, I thought to myself, I definitely didn’t know we needed to step up on that?! Maybe I should’ve paid attention (good thing she did!). I was impressed with the pep in her step and the agility she had. She made this look natural. I knew I was beaming, I was so proud. She returned and I took off, with my main focus being my feet and not falling over in my heels. Despite feeling awkward, I knew I was still smiling because I was thinking of her flawless performance. Luckily, I did not trip and even flaunted my bell sleeves (I LOVED them!) when the host encouraged me to show them off. My five year old pushed me out of my comfort zone this weekend and I am so very glad she did. We made an awesome memory and have some pretty amazing pictures from Jason Audain that will help me remember it all. Our relationship evolved this weekend too, as I pushed myself to not let her down. Each of our children cause me to be a better person for different reasons and she forced me to persevere and not give up. I am amazed by her and I’m so lucky she’s mine. Thanks, Lord and Taylor, for giving us an experience we will never forget.