Tuesday, June 10, 2014
The Pure Joy of Getting Dressed Up
It was one of those moments I will remember forever. Charlotte and I were sitting together watching Sesame Street. She wanted to see what she calls "dress up," which is Katy Perry and Elmo singing "Hot N Cold." Then it occurred to me, why don't we play dress up instead of just watching it? We walked upstairs to her closet and pulled out a blue antique dress a family friend gave me when she was born. She was absolutely over the moon when she saw it.
As soon as we got back downstairs, she put both her little arms up in the air to put the dress on over her clothes. I couldn't button it and tie the bow fast enough. I wish I could have captured the wonder in her eyes and face on camera at the moment she looked at the beautiful dress she was wearing. Charlotte was nearly running to her little pink kitchen to start playing. Why dress up if you can't have a tea party? We gathered her little plastic tea cups, cupcakes, tea pot and, of course, her animal friends. She served them tea and cupcakes and hugged her dolly. Then, I brought out my pink ballet dance shoes for her to wear. She proudly stood in her little kitchen in her light blue dress and enormous pink ballet slippers as happy as someone could possibly be. It was a magical moment.
I cannot keep thinking about the wonder and amazement in Charlotte's face with every new experience. Seeing and putting on a new "dress up" dress is like winning the lottery to an adult. But it's better - it's pure, innocent unfiltered joy.
It makes me think not only about how I greet new experiences but also everyday life. Something as magical to Charlotte as putting a special dress on has, unfortunately, become a chore to most of us. Even though I love fashion, getting dressed can be a headache. "My stomach doesn't look good in this." "This doesn't look right on me either." "This is too old." "This color looks louder than it did on the rack." This negative flow of thoughts is something that would never occur to my sweet baby girl. She is too busy bursting and squealing with excitement. Her moment of unfiltered joy reminded me that I've lost some of that. I'm sometimes too busy being hard on myself to enjoy putting on a beautiful garment.
I need to rekindle the wonder of putting on a special - or even everyday - outfit. I know have to identify those pieces in my closet that make me feel absolutely magical and wear them more often. Getting dressed isn't just about how you look - it's also largely about how you feel. It really is about the simple things - putting on a beautiful piece of clothing or an accessory and bursting with joy as Charlotte did so sweetly! As Kate Spade said, "Playing dress up begins at age five and never truly ends."