Well, it's finally happened. A Campbellkid grew up enough to attend the Winter Ball. Back when her dad started to see the time was drawing near, he started hinting around that maybe it was time to separate the middle school from the high school for the annual dance. No, no, don't do that, I told him. I think having the younger kids there keeps it refreshingly innocent. Yes, you're right, he quickly agreed in a panic! And so the time came. I was all alone to send her off, to think my thoughts of how she could possibly have already reached this age. The big day was a flurry. She washed her hair in the morning, and I put in sponge curlers. Her hair is long, and thick. Hours later the curls still weren't dry. We used the blow dryer off and on all day. I took her across the street to the kuafor to get her hair pinned up. It seemed every old lady in our neighborhood was getting her hair 'set' that day. After we waited an hour, I got the bright idea to call Miss N. Miss N is so good at so many things. She was happy to help. She got the curl to stay (loads of hairspray) and pinned her right up. We're going to miss Miss N so much next year. I was glad we had this one more memory with her. We came home, got her make up done, she had a snack. It was time to put on her dress. She put it on and the lump in my throat came. Big Ben saw her and said, "You are a Pincess, I can dance with you!" Her sisters also told her how pretty she was. I kept thinking, "Her dad would fall over if he could see her." I always knew she'd be beautiful, but it's hard to picture exactly how that is going to look. She was stunning.
Her dress was one that we had already. We took it to a seamstress and had it cut to tea length. She also added the little capped sleeves (it had been strapless). All for US$10! We went with a classic dress...not a short modern one. I told her she'd never go wrong with classic. (And I could hardly walk through the school to drop her off without an adult telling me how beautiful she was. We adults like classic!) I found the little clutch purse on a 70% off winter clearance. I gave it to her with a "Happy First Winter Ball" note. And of course, you see the flip flops. What can I say? Snow on the ground. But this is what they wear...glitzy flip flops, which promptly come off when it is time to dance.
The theme this year was a Venetian Masquerade Ball. Oh, these kids are amazing. They pull off amazing decorations, all on a shoestring budget. They transformed the atrium, it was amazing. The music is clean. The math teacher gave them all swing dance lessons, and told the boys to ask all the girls, and told the girls to accept all offers to dance. It's just the kind of dance that it used to be, back in the old days when dances were better.
She came home, she'd had a wonderful time. I was on email chat with CC late that night. I told him she'd danced with all the 7th grade boys and a few older ones. I hardly had the chat line sent before he typed back, "With whom?" The day is coming when she'll leave with her one chosen young man forever, just like CC took me away! But for now, we'll enjoy each year, each day, each minute.