I’m Claiming Her

You know how there are those kids that simply CANNOT deny their parents? They look so much like them that the phrase ‘Mini-Me’ comes flying from your lips even though you KNOW they must have heard it 27 thousand times already?

Well, that doesn’t happen to me.  But, I will confess that I wish it did. People STILL tell me I look like my mom, but I don’t hear it often about my small girl.

My sweet girl, Delaney, isn’t officially named after anyone… In fact, when we were choosing her name, we mulled over all of the potential nicknames (note: new parents… this is important:  If you LOVE the name Katherine, but can’t stand “Katie”, keep that in mind)  We actually figured we would be ok with ‘Laney’ as a shorter version….but she has NEVER been a ‘Laney’ – it just doesn’t fit her.

What she is?  ’Mini’.  The people closest to me call me ‘D’.  We started to call her ‘Mini D’ right after she was born.  It wasn’t long before even THAT was shortened… to Mini.  And it fits her perfectly.

And still…. I have been longing…DYING even… for SOMEONE to say, “She looks JUST like you”.  *sigh*

But the only people who do are those who knew me when I was a kid…. when my cheeks were still dominant and my freckles still prominent.  My friends from High School and even many from college constantly say they see me in her.  And I beam.  I carry that feeling with me like a Gold Star.

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This weekend, I watched a younger version of me…. my sweet small girl, make her First Communion. She was glorious.  And goofy. So delightfully her.  She wore my veil (a family heirloom: the same one my mother and grandmother wore). . She asked to take a picture in the same pose…. though refused to bow her head because she no longer wanted the veil pinned to her hair…

For the first time, I saw me. But I also saw her.  And it was divine.

 

The Beauty of Tradition: A Veil, Her Eyes and A Small Girl’s Soul

I went to sleep the other night…. the mother of the sweet baby girl.  Born with a full head of dark brown hair, brown eyes reminiscent of milk chocolate…. a smile that can make you melt. She toddled through my dreams saying her first word, ‘bit’ for blanket, holding my hand, snuggling into my bed and sucking her thumb.

When I woke, I found this….

 

An angel of a girl, no longer toddling…. full of questions, spunky, sassy and with freckles that I have spent hours trying to memorize like astromers do their favorite constellations.

This weekend, Delaney will make her First Communion… an incredibly important step in the Catholic faith.  She has spent the better part of her second grade year preparing for it.  This feels like her first ‘grown up’ moment.  We have had so many beautiful, meaningful conversations surrounding what will happen for her this weekend.  She is taking it all so seriously…

And another part of the treasure for me comes steeped in tradition.  The veil you see on her sweet head is over 100 years old.

I wore it on my First Communion.

Danielle's First Communion 1981

So did my mother.

My Mom's First Communion 1957

And so did my grandmother.

And that veil?  Was created from my great-grandmother’s wedding veil.

Delaney and I took these pictures as a ‘trial-run’…. she chose her own dress, but allowed me to be the stylist for her hair and veil (though having her hair done does not rank high on my tom-boy’s list of things to do).

She was so reverent about the veil, took such good care as we moved around outide and was so beautifully spirited…..choosing different poses and enjoying every moment with me.

I’m going to watch her on Sunday…. walk down the aisle of the church…. in that dress and veil.  She will still be seven when she walks out the door, but she will have carried on a glorious family tradition and given me one more memory to decorate my dreams as she gets a little older day-by-day.