The Prelude to Lunch
Getting dressed for work is low drama for for me. I always feel like I should probably put more thought or prep into it. But, that thought passes and I sort of do a fireman thing — grabbing favorites from the closet and jumping into the day. In fact, my shower and overall bathroom time are far more celebrated than my time selecting clothes and accessories.
I think that’s why I know that I’m really excited about my daughter’s power lunch today. It was TruFund Financial’s Women Crush Wednesday Luncheon, part of a weeklong series of business development and networking events. My daughter helped conceive and coordinate the initiative. I’d been hearing about it since the brainstorm began.
In the weeks and days leading up to the kick off TruImpact Week, I could relate to my daughter’s building rush. It came with the hat — the life of anyone who plans events, launches marketing campaigns or births anything. I was feeling like my daughter was truly wearing my Marketing hat.
I didn’t realize how her experience was having an affect on me, until I found that I actually put a lot of thought and prep into what I was going to wear today. It’s not that I don’t go to business functions often or that every given day I dress like I’m in a back office. It’s just that today I was the mom.
I thought about when my daughter was in daycare, how thrilled I was to receive the recaps of what my daughter had for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I loved to know what she ate, how she enjoyed it and her socialization development. The recaps were the highlight of my day. It was the closest I could get for a bird’s eye view of my daughter’s daycare world.
My mind continued to reel through the years, remembering the classroom pizza and cup cake birthday lunches. I would be up crazy early preparing goodie bags and crazy focused on the logistics for picking up the cupcakes and pizza… There was such a delicate balance between making my daughter feel special and making the teacher’s life hassle-free. It always seemed like while the activity was total feel good for the kids and a scheduled event on the teacher’s calendar, the birthday lunches were one step from the edge with the teacher’s day.
I decided on a black dress for today, totally going with a classic style. Again, I laughed to myself, thinking of the various Mother’s Day Teas I attended at my daughter’s school. It was always a special day to get dressed up to share the afternoon with the kids. But, I can’t recall how dressed up I got. I sort of recall that I was sort of basic; feeling like it was my day off from work. I would probably wear a denim skirt, feeling compelled to be casual on my day off from work. I may have thought the dress up thing was for stay at home mom’s who maybe didn’t get dressed up every day. Not that I really did, but. No, I guess I remember wear pretty long skirts that had they traditional beautiful mother vibe going on. So, here I was again, trying to figure out what was the look this Mom needed to have for her daughter’s special lunch.
At my age, it wasn’t hard to believe that I could have a daughter working at a financial group where she was starting to have more suit jackets and black clothes on her closet than I was. And it wasn’t hard to believe that she was better at applying make-up and figuring out subway connections than I was. I was going to the luncheon, but tell me again the address and what subway.
I had on my black dress, it’s an Ann Klein that I got on sale, over a year ago. At the time, I was certain that this dress would be “The Black Dress” my go to for all sorts of occasions. But, here I was this morning taking the tags off; wearing the dress for the first time. And today seems to be the perfect occasion. When in doubt, where black, when going to your daughter power lunch wear black, when your wardrobe is no longer stylishly conservative, where black. When you’ve got more prints and carefree maxi skirts, pull out the black. And I guess this black dress was waiting for just this very combo of reasons to align for this very occasion.
One last glance in the mirror and I imagined myself stepping into the restaurant, seeing my daughter at reception. Why was I feeling like my mom? Why could I see my head tilted to the side ready to give my daughter a big kissy hug? No, that wouldn’t be the move. I told myself that I would have to be conscious of the social cues and business dynamics at play. Just like when I used to visit her classroom. She could not get out of her seat and run to me, the moment I walked through the door.
Yet, I couldn’t deny, this was a huge moment for both of us — my daughter was a professional woman. And I’d graduated — from the Mother’s Day Tea, to Bring Your Mom to Work Day. Yes! I marched out of the house excited about seeing my daughter do her part at her power lunch.
The Taste of Dessert
I hugged her as soon as I walked in, as soon as I saw her. And I hugged her bosses. I’d heard so much about them and I’ve been so thankful for the way they’ve been pouring into her. I hugged them. We’re they surprised? Yes, I’m sure. Was it appropriate or timely? No, the ground rules I established for myself, in the morning, didn’t show up with me. I had become my mom; who doesn’t need permission to go in for a hug. I was like that Mom that comes into the classroom that thinks mommy status trumps teacher protocol. I was like that for the first few moments when I arrived, but then I quickly sat down. I just wanted to watch her in action. I watched as she treated guests and helped them find seats. I watched as her colleagues interacted with her and they ran the event like well planned basketball moves. I was the fly on the wall.
She made a name tag for me, with my title and company. It seemed odd to me and I didn’t want to wear it. I wasn’t concerned about my professional status. I was just Mom for the afternoon. That’s all that I cared to be.
I got swepted away in the spirit of entrepreneurship. It was a feast of inspiration, insight and empowerment — from her company’s spin to the amazing guest speakers, who shared their professional pearls of wisdom and testimonies.
In the midst of the sharing, I thought about the richness of the soil my daughter’s career was being cultivated. Only God could do this. Because, she was the girl who was certain she should pursue nursing. When she landed in the opportunity to do a marketing and business development internship, she questioned the open door. It didn’t seem like it was for her. God is pretty amazing when it comes to the plan and purpose he has for us. Somethings you don’t have to pray for and sometimes He literally places us on our path.
As sweet as the luncheon’s apple-cobbler-bread pudding, there was a sweet fragrance of success filled my spirit. As my daughter worked the room, I imagined amazing possibilities for my daughter. I closed my eyes and I was the Mom sitting at the Mother’s Day Tea and she was right by my side.