Prom Through My Daughter’s Eyes

Prom Through My Daughter's Eyes

Do you think you could do winged eyeliner?

With my first prom in over 15 years just a few hours away, I envisioned a dramatic look.  The associate at Sephora gave a slightly nervous response to my request, but promised I’d have a stand-out look for my evening out.

Feeling giddy over law school prom seems silly, but the teenage girl in me said, Prom! Dressing up? Doing my hair? A restaurant without children? Yes, please! Last year, my husband somehow forgot to tell me about the event until after it passed. This year, he Prom Through My Daughter's Eyes 2asked me if I wanted to go the Tuesday beforehand. It wasn’t ideal, but I told him to find a babysitter and I’d find a dress.

I found a few rare moments to go shopping alone on Wednesday at The Second Act, crossing my fingers that I would somehow find a semi-formal dress in my price range with sleeves. Easy, right? Thanks to a bit of luck and some fabulous local consigners, I managed to score a budget-friendly, vintage inspired dress for my curves in my price range. I might have done some obsessive trying on and turning in the three way mirror before finalizing my choice, but that’s all part of the prom experience, right?

Fast forward to Saturday and, after a day with the family, I headed to Sephora for an eye make up consultation. The associates there worked some magic, including the winged eyeliner, and I left feeling amazing.

When I arrived home, I quickly worked on some curls, then invited my 7 year-old daughter to help me decided if I should go with a full or partial updo. She weighed in, feeling important, and I headed up the stairs to don my dress. When I arrived downstairs a few  minutes later with vintage inspired nylons and sparkling jewelry, I walked up to Ella and tapped her on the shoulder, asking What do you think?

Ella’s mouth opened into an “O” and her gasp, followed by, You look just like my doll! made the entire evening worth it. Her mom,  usually in jeans and a t-shirt, transformed for an evening before her eyes.

Prom Through My Daughter's Eyes 3Dinner proved delightful, a group of 10 conversing about topics other than children for a few hours and enjoying delicious food. The dance proved to be like every other formal dance I’ve ever attended, always a slight disappointment compared to the vision in your head, but a fun diversion after nearly 10 years of marriage.

The dance lasted until midnight, but we found ourselves fading by around 10 pm. We finagled an early slow dance and grinned at each other through “You Make Me Smile.” We said goodbye to friends and, before we left for some late night conversation over frozen yogurt, I glanced back at the room once last time. For a moment, I viewed the event through Ella’s eyes. Confetti on the tables, a balloon arch for photos, romance, and glittering dresses on the dance floor – magic.

Mindy is a mom of three, writer, optimist, striving to be eco-conscious, and hoping to defy stereotypes. She’s a Pacific Northwest Native who discovered a love of the Midwest six years ago after moving to Illinois. Her family of five came to Iowa City in the summer of 2012 for her husband, Tim, to attend the University of Iowa School of Law and they quickly fell in love with the city. Mindy works from home, while caring for her three terrific kids; Ella 7, Ezra 5, and Kai 2. She is always searching for that elusive balance between family and work and can often be found behind a keyboard writing a newspaper article or blog post or managing social media for a small company. Mindy writes about life as a mom – sometimes crazy, often surprising, occasionally exhausting, frequently challenging, always rewarding, and continually a learning experience – at her blog The Inquisitive Mom (


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