You tiptoed into Mom and Dad’s vacant bedroom. Time for a raid.
At the far end of the clothes rack where Mom kept her old dresses, you looked for the floral print with the long flowing sleeves. It took a footstool to reach the hanger.
You pulled the dress over your t-shirt and shorts, barely able to get the zipper halfway up. The old fashion dress fit just right, with the skirt dragging a good foot behind you. The sleeves draped elegantly over your hands and flowed with the dramatic swing of your arm.
At that same end of the closet, you retrieved the nail polish-sprinkled white high heels, so you didn’t have to worry about adding any of your own. The click they made as they flopped from the two-inch gap behind your heel was perfect.
Now time for jewelry.
You rescued the ancient cedar box from the dust bunnies under the bed, emptied its contents onto the floor, and separated each non-classic piece in categories.
Seven mismatched clip-ons not only served as earrings, but hair clips and collar adornment. One ring would never do when you hold five in your hand. The size problem was difficult to overcome, but you managed by putting two per thumb. The fifth you threaded onto a necklace.
Speaking of necklaces…again, it was too hard to choose, so on went the long gold chain, a strand of pearls, and multicolored jewels with silver accents.
What else? Of course, bracelets. Plenty of room from wrist to elbow and you made use of it. You rolled up just one sleeve though; you wanted to keep the other flowing free.
Now a hat. You pushed a chair over to the closet shelf so you could reach the top one. The black with lace, on the bottom of the stack, was just what you needed. You gave it a tug, and all the hats tumbled off the shelf and onto the floor. You couldn’t quite reach high enough to put them back, but you knew Daddy would do it later.
A touch of lipstick from the old tube and then you slung a discarded black leather purse over your shoulder. You stood before the full-length mirror to admire your makeover. That’s when you saw Mom behind you.
She had a camera.
You twirled and hopped, climbed to the middle of the bed and struck ten different model poses. Mom toned down your outfit a little, and then directed you outside into the hot sunshine and icky grass.
But that was okay because you could wrap your arms around the tire swing and look over your shoulder at the camera. With a spin, the skirt flared out and you plopped down on the grass. Chin on your knees, you smiled. Frowned. Cocked your head to one side, and then the other. Whatever Mom asked you to do.
You stretched out on your side. Your stomach. Your back. Mom stood over you and snapped the hundred and ninety-eighth picture.
Tomorrow, you might do it all again.
Because that was dress-up time.