The dress swung when she moved. It shimmered, too.
I gave it to her thinking it would be worn to the New Year's Eve party we'd attend as a family ... only the rest of us would be wearing jeans ... or pajamas.
She's the one who understands the value of dressing up, even if you're just going to play Tag, or Hide-and-Seek, or King of the Laundry Mountain in your best friend's basement.
To each their own.
Since I ended up spending most of the holiday season floundering on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, she ended up missing that party and wearing the dress on an ordinary Thursday ... paired with black leggings and a rainbow-edged wrap sweater (which she probably stashed in her backpack the instant she sat in her seat on the bus).
She's never been one for excessive layering.
She allowed me to take a photograph when she came home in the afternoon.
As she stood by the tree and swung the dress -- slowly and rhythmically as if an audience was watching -- I was reminded of her four-year-old self ... when I'd gotten her a similar frock. She'd swung that dress, too. Only she'd twirled and twirled until she'd gotten dizzy and had to sit down.
Sometimes I think she's lost that abandon. She only finds it again ... when no one is watching.
It's so subtle ... this difference.
She's not a little girl anymore. And yet, she is.