Growing Up

She stood in front of the mirror, looking older than her 13 years. She was still my baby, yet here she was, all dolled up and ready for her first dance.

Up until now, she has been the tomboyish type, always ready for a game of football with her father and brothers. She was good at it too, the best player on her team.

Then she had surprised me. She asked me to buy her something to wear to the dance.

In the store we searched the racks for the perfect dress. She tried on dress after dress, each more stunning than the first. It was like seeing her play dress-up for the first time and she was enjoying it.

Finally she selected a silk lavender gown. It was simple compared to the others – no fancy frills, layers of lace, or beads and sequins. No, this dress fell from a high waist under the bust straight to the floor and tied behind with a thin ribbon. The sleeves were open, flowing and airy.

“How does it feel?” I asked.

“Like an angel’s dress,” she said, twirling to see how it would flow. “Can I get some shoes too?”

“Of course,” I replied.

We made our way to the shoe store across the mall where she spotted the perfect shoes to match the dress. Having never worn heels, she wobbled a bit at first, but was soon walking in them like a pro. I told her how to break them in over the next few days so that she wouldn’t end up with painful blisters on what was supposed to be a fun night.

Friday afternoon she asked me to help her with her hair and makeup. As I worked, I relived her childhood. “How has it gone by so fast? How much longer will it be before she no longer wants me to be involved?” I wondered.

I brushed her long hair and skillfully plaited the french braids that wound their way around her head. “Remember when all she wanted me to do was pull her hair into a ponytail?” I laughed to myself. I had never been able to convince her to wear any other style, not even for special occasions.

My hands shook as I pulled out the makeup. “Steady now. I don’t want to have to do this twice,” I thought. First I applied the foundation, then soft pink eyeshadow, lined with lavender pencil. Light brown mascara, pink lipstick, and some glitter finished the job. My baby looked like a princess.

“Have a look,” I told her.

“Just a minute. I want to get dressed first.”

Returning to my room, she slowly made her way to the mirror and gasped, “I look beautiful!”

“You have always been beautiful to me,” I said, “but tonight, you look extra special. I know you will have a great night.”

“Thanks, Mom,” she said. And she hugged me longer than she had in a long time.

This fiction piece was written for Write on Edge‘s writing meme, Red Writing Hood.
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  1. Oh, I was almost sad to see this was fiction. What a perfect telling of a moment with a daughter.Well done.

  2. This was simply charming! You lend an experience to your MC's voice that is timeless and endearing. Very well done!

  3. Wow. I, too, thought this was true until you put at the bottom it was a fiction piece. Beautiful!


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