I Had a Favorite Dress

The other day, my friend gave me a new book for my girls entitled I Had a Favorite Dress. It has now taken a spot on my list of Top 10 Children’s Books. The illustrations are perfectly adorable and the message so beautifully articulates one of the core values I hope to teach my daughters.
The little girl in the story has a favorite dress that is, one day, just too small. She’s initially devastated that she won’t be able to wear her favorite dress anymore, but her mother takes it, shortens it and it becomes her new favorite shirt. Soon enough, the sleeves get too tight. With a “snip, snip, sew, sew” it’s now a tank top. It goes on like that until the dress is in tiny little scraps. The girl makes a collage portrait of herself in her dress that she can admire forever.
As I read the story, so many valuable lessons popped into my head: the ability to adapt, not becoming attached to material things, but most of all, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. The latter is something my grandmother used to say a lot. This is a lady who had cancer four times: both breasts, stomach and thyroid. When she died of a heart attack, she said, “at least it wasn’t cancer”. I guess that was her own personal victory, her lemonade.
I love how this new book will help me teach this lesson to my girls in a way that’s age appropriate. They can’t relate to my positive BRCA test results as the reason why I’ve got new boobs. But perhaps, I can demonstrate that I’m kind of like the girl in the story. Her mother told her she couldn’t wear her favorite dress as a dress anymore. My test results told me I couldn’t keep my original set of knockers. The little girl and her mom got creative and she got a new tank top out of it. My doctors and I got creative and after my own “snip, snip, sew, sew”, I got a new rack out of it. No matter what disappointments life throws at us, we just have to get creative and change things up to make them work for us in a new way.

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