Saturday, June 28, 2014

Buy The Dress

I found the perfect mother of the groom dress at 75% off.

Wait, what? Wasn't the previous blog post about the oldest just graduating from high school?

Yes. I'm a planner. Plus, 75% off.

I queried my Facebook friends, who were nearly unanimous in their delight to spend my money. Get the dress, they urged. Some even argued I would find "many uses" for it. For a full-length, sequined gown? Perhaps they confused my stay-at-home mom life with, I don't even know whose life, maybe Vanna White's?

I bought the dress. Alas and alack, it doesn't work. "Mist" is not my best color.

Oh, well.

I don't know if I would have used it for a mother of the groom dress anyway. However, the experience reminded me of another dress I bought for "no reason" half a lifetime ago.

During a summer while I was in college, for no particular reason, on a day like any other, I went into a dress shop in my hometown. I had never been in that shop before and I don't recall ever shopping in it after that.

On that no particular day for no particular reason and for no particular occasion, I found a great dress. Black velvet, two piece. The peplum top had an elaborate sequin pattern and the skirt was the perfect length. The dress was $99. Back in 1987 or 1988 that was a lot of money for a dress, especially to a college kid whose cash came from waiting tables at Ponderosa.

I loved that dress. I dragged my mom to look at the dress. Mom is a frugal lady who hates to shop, and I was under no illusion that she would perceive need or reason for the dress. I just wanted her to see it. Mom liked the dress too. I thought and I thought and I thought.

And darn it, I bought that $99 perfect dress. I don't know why. I needed to. I didn't wear it--where does one even wear a velvet, sequined dress--but I was glad to own it. I moved it with me down to North Carolina after I graduated from college.

During a winter years later while I was in graduate school, for every reason, on a day unlike any other, I was wearing that dress when I told a certain (dare I say wonderful?) young man who asked me to marry him, "Yes." Tomorrow we celebrate 23 years of marriage. Life is short. Buy the dress.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Valedictorian of Our First Graduating Class

Meet the valedictorian of our inaugural graduating class. Before our home boasted a whole riotous handful of noise makers and chaos creators, there was just this guy. Cute, isn't he? 

He always was.

The little boy who hated change so much he would cry when we bought him new sneakers ended his high school career by giving a final presentation and hopping on a plane the same day to go to his college orientation. I stayed in the terminal, watching him until he passed through the entire security line. He didn't look back.

I suspect this may be an indicator of things to come.

He graduates with many honors and national distinctions and scholarships, but if you ask me what makes me most proud, I will tell you two stories. Jack taught a boy in AWANA for several years. That kid noticed that Jack's Bible was beat: dog-eared, well-worn, underlined, used, and used up. The boy asked if he could have it when Jack bought a new one because the boy thought it was cool to see a Bible that the owner obviously read daily. Of course, Jack gave it to him.

That's a legacy that matters.

When I served the two-year-old Jack his dinner, he would usually ask me, "What is it? Where is its head? How did it die?" Teenager Jack will often move worms off the driveway after a rainstorm to keep the worms from drying out and dying on the asphalt.

If he's nice even to worms, I figure his future wife and children will be blessed indeed.

We've been blessed to be his parents. Happy Graduation, Jack!