Several weeks ago these mud-covered feet got asked to a dance.
They belong to my youngest twin–my tiny, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, tree climber.
A dance? In middle school? With a boy? With awkward moments and disco balls and blaring music and watered down punch?
When did that happen?
She was just climbing trees and walking the dog and decorating her room with post-it notes and having tea parties with spotted elephants. I wasn’t sure that I was ready. I wasn’t sure that I was prepared.
But she was.
And she said yes.
She said yes to the cutest boy in school.
“We’re just friends, mom,” she told me giggling and peeking out at me from behind her fingers. But he’s so sweet.
And she’s right.
He has short brown hair and a laugh that makes you laugh right back and the sweetest eyes that you’ve ever seen.
And he showed up for the dance with daffodils he picked from the yard tied with a jute twine bow.
It was a moment I’ll never forget.
She stood there in a patchwork dress with braids and leather sandals and a blue jean jacket, reaching out for those flowers from a boy whose eyes lit up when he saw her as the sun set over the fields behind the school.
I watched them walk away together and my heart shivered slightly.
Hoping the dance wouldn’t be awkward.
Hoping it wouldn’t all be too overwhelming.
Hoping the disco ball didn’t shine too brightly.
When I picked her up from the dance, she was a bundle of energy.
Words and giggles and laughter and conversation bounced off the walls of the car.
“It was so much fun, mom,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe it. He stayed with me the entire time. He didn’t go and hang out with the other boys. He danced with me and ate pizza with me and we talked the whole dance.”
“And the best part?” she continued in a rush.
“They had these masks–you know–because the whole dance was a Mardi Gras theme and he asked me if I wanted one.”
“That’s so sweet,” I said.
“The masks were all lined up on the table. There was a $2 one and a $3 one and the biggest mask of all, the really fancy one with the trim and the gold and the glitter was $4. Of course I didn’t want to ask for that one. It was the most expensive. So I pointed to the $2 one instead,” she giggled.
“And what did he do?” I asked. “Did he buy you the $2 mask? The one you pointed to?”
“No,” she said, opening her eyes in wonder. “He didn’t.”
“He told me he wanted me to have the best one, so he bought me the beautiful mask, the one with the sparkles and the gold and the glitter.”
And with that she sank back into the seat with a smile so full of joy it made that disco ball look dim.
Oh my sweet-tree-climbing girl.
May your days always be full of sunshine.
May your heart be full of the beauty and joy around you.
May your feet always be muddy and your braids always swing on a spring Kentucky day.
And may you always know your worth and dance….
….with the boy who chooses the $4 mask. 🙂