So there I am in China in 50 degrees, a new mom, and I am hitting a mall with my new toddler daughter, husband and travel guide. A mall is air conditioned. It houses food. There is space. All ideal characteristics necessary for a desirable location after navigating a new country, in unimaginable heat and while experiencing a genesis of motherhood.
My daughter would only let herself be held by me at the beginning, so this was a shop – at the speed of light. Luckily she enjoyed playing with hangers and making faces in the changing room mirror, so as I tried on a few dresses, I found one that fit my criteria. Easy to wear. No bra straps showing. And that felt like a piece that symbolized my identity pre-baby. It’s like she knew I needed that time. I loved her more than ever.
A t-shirt dress that stated Brooklyn 1980 in olive green. One of my colors. The year my sister was born. And one of my my favorite places in the world.
As I put on the shapeless t-shirt dress, my motherhood style took form. Easy to wear pieces that are not precious, that can absorb extreme hot weather, allow me to fold in every way – as you must with a toddler – and one that held meaning for me.
As we exited the store, my daughter insisted on carrying my bag.
After an intense bonding period, in extreme weather, in a foreign land; as she held my bag and made us laugh, I felt like I would be ok. She had shared her inner comedian. She wanted to participate. And she supported my mad dash shop.
I was never more proud.
Every time I wear that dress, I feels my lives unite. My new life married to my authentic self.
Motherhood I realize must be lived, it cannot be described. You must surrender and take charge. You must let the moments happen and not try to curate them. You must be patient and act fast. You have to know who you are and what you need. At least, that is my experience with my daughter. (I love that saying those words).
And sometimes, a dress comes along that becomes an iconic moment for your psyche, because it symbolizes so many of your selves.
Mother. Sister. Traveler. Creative.
I style it with a fanny pack around my waist, and with my Stan Smiths.
Dress and photos from Zara.