Last night was one of those moments in time, when I was forced to accept the saddening realization that my little girl is growing up.
The Winter Dance was held last night at her middle school, and my little 7th-grader got all gussied up, dressed up, and fancied up - and then took herself up to school with a gaggle of girlfriends....
As I watched her head out the door to meet up with her friends, I couldn't help but reminisce of when I attended my first middle-school dance...when I was all of 12 years old, and feeling oh-so-grown-up and decidedly adult.
Daughter and friends...
I remember donning my new dress, my new shoes, and my new pantyhose...while working on my hair and make-up for hours, wanting everything to be decidedly perfect. After all - I had an impression to make. I had developed a major crush on a fellow 7th-grade boy...Jimmy...and I was determined to capture his attention at the dance, to the point where he'd drop to his knees, staggering at my beauty and charisma, and declare his undying love in front of me and my fellow classmates.
That was the plan, anyway.
In reality, I hung out on one side of the gym, with 99% of the girls, including my best girlfriend, Angie...while the boys hung out on the other side of the gym...and nary did the two sides meet. For hours, we stared at them, while trying to nonchalantly NOT appear that we were staring...and vice versa for the guys. Fun times, really. Not.
At one point, out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly see that Jimmy was making his way over to our side of the gym...and my heart started beating so fast, I thought I would have a heart attack and die on the spot. Was he FINALLY coming to his senses, and noticing me? Was he going to ask me to dance? Was he going to drop to his knees and declare his undying love? The tension was palpable, as I wondered at his motives....
And then...right when he was practically beside me...disaster struck.
In the form of my BFF, Angie. Who KNEW of my Jimmy-crush, and who decided to take things into her own hands and speed things up, as it were.
When Jimmy was less than a foot away from me, Angie suddenly gave me a huge push - a shove, actually - which knocked me into Jimmy, and then knocked me onto my butt. Yup. I'm on my butt, as the guy of my dreams, startled for a second, looks at me, and then keeps on walking and never looks back.
Mortification set in.
Hissing at Angie, I said, "I CAN'T believe you just did that!!! WHY would you shove me like that??!!"
Looking a bit chagrined, she meekly said, "I just wanted to make sure you got his attention....I was only trying to help."
Oh, I'm sure I got his attention, all right. I was the girl that plowed into him at the dance and then hit the floor, which, unfortunately, did NOT swallow me up and hide me forever.
I never did get Jimmy's attention...not that day, nor any day after. Eventually, my interests went elsewhere, and life went on...the horrifying events of my 7th-grade dance to be forgotten, only to be remembered when I see my own little princess heading off for her special night.
I sent up a special prayer for her last night, and I guess it worked, as she came home last night with a huge smile on her face, saying she'd had a wonderful time, and all was well with her world.
My princess is growing up.