6:00 a.m. Dear Feelings Journal: Today is the big middle school dance. Time for some coffee and daydreaming about how great this day will be! Last year, it didn’t go so well. There were tears and arguing while she got ready. We ran late and had to do her make-up in the car while she cried. This year will be different. There will be no tears. Besides, we already had the fights and tears for this dance. She allowed me to buy dress number one knowing good and well she didn’t like it and would never wear it. I then gave her permission to order dress number two she found online because she said she loved it so much. She smiled when she put it on and asked what I thought. When I told her it was a great dress if she were headed to Vegas for her 21st birthday, it went south quickly. She said it was a Beyoncé dress. I explained she would never be Beyoncé, and, if anyone got to be Beyoncé, it would be me. We went back and forth for two weeks until she was finally convinced that I would definitely not be dropping her off at the dance in that dress. I can’t believe we found a compromise dress four short days before the dance, considering we started looking two months ago to avoid this very situation. The compromise dress is so pretty and pink and sparkly. I thought about trying on the dress while she was at school, but I was concerned that all that sequins stretched across my butt would look a bit like the sparkly drone background of Lady Gaga’s super bowl intro. It would be lights and sparkles and pink for miles. Yeah, I am definitely not trying it on. Beyoncé would totally own that dress.
This day will definitely be good. I’ve made a list and a schedule and this middle school dance will go off without a hitch. I am feeling confident! I’ll keep you up-to-date as the day goes on. Thanks for being there for me, Feelings Journal!
11:30 a.m. What a surprise for me! A spontaneous lunch with my husband. We never get to do this! How fun are we? The restaurant is really crowded so we must eat at the bar. Wow, people are having cocktails with lunch. I wonder what that is like. I love the margaritas here, but they are strong. I’m ordering tea. I have to stay focused and prepared for the afternoon. I’m on a strict schedule.
How funny that I am right across the street from where she will get her make-up and hair done in a few hours. It will be so great. She is so lucky. I am so lucky. This lunch is so fun. I am feeling so happy right now, Feelings Journal.
2:40 p.m. I picked her up right on time. I have my list and supply bag with a few extra items, too. I didn’t forget a thing. She will love me so much for the experience I am going to give her. I feel optimistic. I am the luckiest mom in the world.
3:00 p.m. Look at my girl sitting in a make-up chair. Let her first professional make-up application begin. She doesn’t typically wear make-up, so this will be a joy for me to see and such a treat for her. There goes the eye shadow, and it is gorgeous! Time for eyeliner which she doesn’t own and has never worn. Wow, look at that, she’s having her first eyeliner moment. Her eyes look really pretty, but she is giving me a strange look. Why is my phone buzzing? Why is she texting me from the make-up chair? She hates it? She wants me to get her out of here? Oh gosh, now we’ve made actual eye contact. She is looking at me wide-eyed, about to cry. I will text her back right now and tell her she looks beautiful and her eyes really pop and this is going to be a great day. I will text a question, too. Why did she want a make-up appointment if she doesn’t want her make up to show? That is logical. That will make her feel better. Time to shut this craziness down and get back to the fun. The text is sent!
Oh no! Her lip is quivering. Her eyes are watery. How can this be happening? Everything is fine, dammit. I have a list and supplies, we are running on schedule, and it is all good. I am going to pretend to clean out my purse so I don’t have to read any more of her insecure and illogical texts. What is happening? I am feeling so confused.
3:40 p.m. We just paid for make-up and are heading down the hall for hair styling with her favorite hair dresser. Why is she grabbing my arm? Why is she saying she looks terrible? Why is she saying she has on more eyeliner than any other girl will have at the dance and she is embarrassed? I wouldn’t let her wear too much make-up. She is crying, and nothing makes eyeliner look worse than tears. I will tell her that this is a process, and she’s only completed step one of three with the make-up. When she has her hair done and her dress on, it will all come together and she will feel better. That is wonderful advice and will calm her down.
Why is she sending pictures of her make-up to friends and telling them it looks bad? Of course they will want to support her and tell her they can fix it. She is setting it up to be negative. Why is she still crying and wanting to wash her face? Again, I will tell her she looks beautiful and promise her it will be fine, and then I need to walk away because I am about to lose it. This is not on the schedule.
Now that I am alone and walking though the halls to catch my breath, I am feeling a little bit better. Wait, she has snuck behind me to cry more. How did she find me all the way over here? She’s tracked me down like a bloodhound. I can feel it happening. I am about to snap, Feelings Journal. This is not what I envisioned. I am not having fun. She isn’t thanking me for all I’ve done for her to get ready for this day. I am feeling unappreciated. Beyoncé is never unappreciated.
4:00 p.m. It is time for her hair appointment, and I’ve had it. I’ve gone to a lot of trouble for this day. I can’t believe I have to sit here and watch this disaster for another hour. Let me reflect on my own middle school dance experience. I didn’t even get a new dress for my middle school dance. My mom told me I had a perfectly good junior bridesmaid dress in my closet from a few months earlier and it was pink and I was wearing it. I didn’t argue. I even did my own make up. I had lots of blue eye shadow, and that was the perfect neutral. Well, maybe not. Professional hair styling? Give me a break! I did my own hair for the dance, and those feathers on the side were on point. The nerve of this child.
Wait! The restaurant across the street! That’s it! I am out of here! I’ll pull the stylist aside, let her know about the great eyeliner debate of 2017, and tell her to text me when they are finished. While I’m at the restaurant, I will mentally prepare myself for the meltdown that will come as we drive home from this appointment. I bet she will wash her face before the dance. I am angry, Feelings Journal.
4:10 p.m. Feelings Journal, I really can’t believe I left my daughter at the salon and am now at the bar of the restaurant where I had lunch a few hours ago. I want that strong margarita desperately, but I need to keep it together. I know! I will order sangria. That is just juice with a splash of wine, right? I’m going to keep it classy and order sangria. Take that, stupid middle school dance.
Ten minutes later, and I’m still mad. I’m going to text some friends. I’m going to tell them everything. Oh look! They are all replying. They feel bad for me. They want me to hang in there. These are my people. Maybe I am starting to feel better. I think I’ll order one more sangria and continue to think about this.
Wow, one friend just called and talked me through the fact that I left my daughter at a salon so I could drink sangria alone at a bar at 4:00 in the afternoon. She promises this isn’t a new low for me, but I am not so sure. Time to drive back over there. I am feeling insecure.
5:10 p.m. Okay, I’ve got this. Feelings Journal, I will be unemotional. I will not be angry, and I will not be overly giving either. I am not a doormat at the feet of her irrational thinking. This has been too much for me, but I will remain strong. I want to pay and get the heck out of here. I am done with all of this.
Good. She’s gone to the restroom to put on her dress, and I can pay the stylist and go sit in the car. Wait, the stylist is telling me that everything is fine. She simply explained to my daughter that, as soon as she put on the dress and had her hair done, it would all come together. Didn’t I say that over an hour ago? Why aren’t my words enough? Now I am even angrier!
I hear heels clicking down the hall. Here she comes. Here comes the pity party. The door is opening, and suddenly I can’t breath. She is stunning beyond her years. Her dress, her hair, her make up and her smile – it’s everything. She is feeling confident. I can see the confidence! Dare I say she is happy? Something is happening to me, Feelings Journal. There are too many feelings all at once. Do I see a future mother-of-the bride moment? So. Many. Feelings! I can’t take all these feelings, Journal. Oh dear God what is happening? Am I crying? I am not even a crier! I know: I’ll wave my hand in front of my eyes like a fan to make it stop. Darn, that totally didn’t work. I’ll try clearing my throat. Ugh, that didn’t work either.
I tell her she looks beautiful. I give her a hug. I tell her I love her and that it all came together. She asks me why I am crying as I throw on my sunglasses. She said she doesn’t understand why I am crying. Why doesn’t she understand me, Feelings Journal? It seems we’ve come full circle with that thought today. Life is funny like that sometimes.
It’s time to get to that dance and take some pictures. This moment in time is so amazing. Beyoncé would be so lucky to be me right now.
*Follow Tales from the Canvas on Facebook by clicking on http://www.facebook.com/talesfromthecanvas/
Feel free to leave comments at the top of this article or on Facebook!