A Daughter’s First Dance

A Daughter’s First Dance

From A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul

A Daughter’s First Dance

She was just a little girl when her four big brothers began going to dances. She helped polish their shoes, find matching socks for them and went with her mom to pick up corsages at the florist and suits at the cleaners. She’d stand in a corner giggling as they posed with their dates for photos and she always felt so special when they’d tell her to join in the picture too. At the breakfast table the next morning she’d sit wide eyed as she listened to their stories from the night before.

“Don’t worry, Amy,” they’d say. “Someday you’ll go to a dance, too. And then it’ll be our turn to watch you and the poor guy who’s gotta pass our inspection.”

Of course, someday was never going to come, for she was just a little girl with ponytails and a teddy bear.

And then incredibly, someday came, but the four brothers were gone. She called the oldest in Connecticut to tell him she was going to her first dance.

“Tell me about the guy,” he said.

She called her second brother at Northern Illinois University.

“Tell me about the guy,” he replied.

She called her third brother at Eastern Illinois University and her fourth brother at Notre Dame. They both responded, “Tell me about the guy.”

Her wrinkled, rapidly aging parents logged 2,158 miles looking for the perfect dress, while their telephone compiled 964 minutes as she and her friends made plans, canceled them, made new ones and changed them yet again.

At last the big night arrived and so did the brothers. Dan came home to chauffeur the group. Mike arrived to tease her, and Bill drove in because he realized how much she wanted him there. Jack couldn’t fly in, but the bouquet of flowers he sent hugged her heart in a way she would always remember.

Suddenly the door bell rang and the weeks of anticipation were over. This was it! He was here! He was everything a first date should be—good-looking, kind and easy to talk to. Best of all, he attended her brothers’ high-school alma mater.

Once again, as in years gone by, the front room was filled with beautiful young people as photos were taken and flowers exchanged. Then, in a flurry of butterflies and laughter, they were gone.

When the house was quiet her parents walked past her bedroom. Amidst the wet towels, make up, nail polish, and assorted clutter, he sat—the teddy bear—a reminder that even though a young woman left for her first dance, a little girl would still return home at the end of the night.

Alice Collins

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