For the longest time, Gaby has begged me to take my wedding dress out of the box it rests in, and let her look at it, touch it, and maybe try it on. Nary a week passes in which she doesn't ask me at least once if I'll take my dress out of the cedar chest and let her look at it, touch it, and try it on.
I always laugh after I say no because for one, the dress is about 100 sizes too big Omar the Tentmaker was my gown designer and well...well, there's really no good reason. I have no plans to hand the dress down to her because it is so large that it would have to be entirely remade, and ever since she was born, I've wanted to have someone talented create a couple of quilts out of my dress and one of the bridesmaid's dresses that I have, into quilts for my daughters and now granddaughter.
After goofing off on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and seeing a photograph of a little girl playing dress up in what was probably her own mommy's ornate wedding gown, and being totally enamored of the feel of the photo, I decided that the next time Gaby asked me about my gown, I'd say yes. Actually, I was going to do her one better. I decided we'd take the gown back home to Maine on our next trip back, and we'd find someplace really picturesque (our house is about the last thing that fits that description!) and I'd let her wear the gown and I'd take photos. The next time Gaby asked and I said yes rather than the usual no, she giggled and did a little dance of joy. Watching her get so excited made me feel silly for ever saying no in the first place.
So, a few weeks ago as we were getting ready to head back to Maine for the weekend, Gaby helped me carefully remove the yards and yards of tulle, lace, and pearly prettiness from the cedar chest. We took a moment to inhale the cool cedar scent, and I tried to see if there were still any hints of that beautiful day, nearly nine years ago, spent high in the mountain top village of Lake Arrowhead, CA, of the day I committed my life and love, to Gareth. I breathed in deeply and maybe it was just my imagination, but I thought that I could just barely still smell the pine branches hanging in the air, dripping with sunshine and cool breezes. Then she helped me gently place the gown in box suitable for the trip, and then she watched her daddy place the box in the back of our car. She couldn't help but exude pure excitement at the thought of finally getting to run her hands all over mommy's gown, and even get to try it on. I grabbed a strand of faux pearls from her dress up chest, for good measure.
We found a beautiful little river front grassy area in Bath, ME and I spread out my gown on the grass. Gaby carefully slipped herself into the gown and then ran her hands all along the folds of tulle and lace, and then carefully traced the pearly sequins on the bodice. I told her that I had some very special plans for the dress, but that I would save a little piece of it for her, to have on her wedding day - her "something old" if you will.
I took some photos as she enjoyed playing dress up in her mommy's wedding gown, and smiled and laughed as she dreamed out-loud about her own wedding one of these many many many years down the line.