We were going out to dinner as a family but had to stop on the way to buy Miguel a pair of running shoes, afamily multitasking at its best. Next door to the shoe store, there is a nice used clothing store and Luisa casually suggested that I take Zeca look at clothes while she picked out shoes with Miguel. Without thinking, I took Zeca's hand and led her into the clothing store. Did I expect her to look without touching The Beautiful Dresses? Did I expect her to ignore The Pretty Shoes? Did I think she would just wander through the store with a disinterested air and shuffling feet? Really. What was I thinking? Let's just say that whole expression about kids in a candy store has nothing on Zeca in a clothing store. From the moment we walked in, she was everywhere. I could not keep up and could barely keep her from tearing all of the dresses off of their hangers and making a break for it. Imagine the following coversation...on repeat: Zeca: OH MAMA! Look at this! It's so pretty. I want it!
Me: Oh honey, no. You are not going to buy that because of the _____________ (fill in the blank with any of the following - cost, size, general heinousness).
I kept looking to the door praying that Luisa would appear. I needed reinforcements! She did not. Then, we rounded one of the racks and Zeca saw it - the most beautiful dress in the whole wide world, the dress that would certainly make her look like a princess, the dress that would allow her to truly channel Sophie from Mama Mia. She buried her face in the front of it and extolled its softness. It was a beautiful dress, completely impractical but beautiful. I explained that we could not buy the dress, however, because she would have no occasion to wear it. She held the dress in her arms, looked at me with those deep brown eyes and said, "Okay mama. Can I just try it on?" I looked to the door and willed Luisa to appear for a consult but she didn't. I looked backed into my daughter's pleading eyes and said, "Sure." You know where this is going - she probably knew it too. We went into the dressing room, she put it on and stared at herself in the mirror and sighed, "It's so beautiful..." It was and she was undeniably beautiful in it. We walked out of the store without the dress. She didn't cry, most likely because she sensed my resolve slipping. We went to the shoe store and I told Luisa about The Dress and we decided that Zeca could use her money to buy the dress. Zeca nearly ripped my arm off dragging me back to the store. We bought the dress and Zeca held the bag to her chest in the car on the way to the restaurant and again, after dinner, as we drove home. She wears it around the house and, every once in awhile, she adds the parasol. I was never this kind of girl, never thought I'd have this kind of girl. Yet, when I watch her walking through the house like Scarlett roaming around Tara, I can't help but laugh and thank the universe for sending her my way.