As I was checking out of a hotel tonight, limos were arriving bringing couples to their prom. Each girl dressed to perfection wearing a look that probably had a year worth of thought put into it. They all seemed to feel so pretty and excited to show their classmates their outfit, hair, makeup, shoes.
I thought about how today must have felt so special to each girl and boy of this grade. Pampering and prepping to step out tonight.
I caught myself wondering what it feels like to love getting dressed up and be excited about it.
Then I started to question, when did I start to dislike doing all the glam and prep?
My analytical mind turned back pages in my personal history book all the way to the beginning....
I was a kid who didn't actually dislike school. But Friday was my favorite school day of all. It ended earlier than all the other days.
But Friday never ended up in whole as a favorite.
Bouncing in the door after school to the smell of my mother's fresh schnitzel, the smell memory of Friday's were the only beautiful part.
Fridays after school were always a RUSH.
Especially on the short winter Shabbosim.
Rush to get last minute groceries, rush to find shabbos reading material, rush to call friends to organize details for shabbos afternoon, and then fights to take turns to shower (no one wanted to go first ever). Yelling, pushing, forcing.. all for one thing:
To get dressed up in our Shabbos best to welcome shabbos.
Copy paste to every Friday.
And also all the yomim tovim.
I think somewhere along the way the joy of getting dressed up was simply just lost. And in creating my own household today I realize I'm not exactly rectifying that Shabbos rush. I'm passing down a lineage that getting dressed up is a chore.
I only have one daughter and everything I do is noticed. She's incredibly intuitive and she picks up on everything.
Another time I hope to open up about my long history with body image issues but for today let's pretend that the only reason I don't like getting dressed up is because I associate it with years of rush, stress, and anxiety.
We just had Lag Baomer. We all know the famous line from Rabbi Akiva... it's never too late.
So, despite living by example to my daughter for almost 12 years, I'm going to try make a conscious effort to change. I'd love to flip the narrative that she's getting dressed to go do the thing she loves (hanging out with her friends on Shabbos). It's not a chore.
In a few months it will be her bas mitzvah. The clock is ticking. I have to flip the narrative fast. So that when her big day comes around, she will be counting down like those prom kids, and be over the moon with excitement to get glammed and dressed up and be celebrated for the special girl that she is.
Wish me luck 🤞