This last month my exquisite daughter attended her last cotillion event for the season. She attended Cotillion class in our town, Miss Persis Dance Studio to be exact. It is a precious right of passage; a safe place for young ladies and budding gentlemen to learn the required social skills that will soon be thrust upon them in the awkward tween years. At cotillion they learn the art of etiquette and good manners, the basics of a strong Fox Trot and how to properly address your host.

Along the way they get to dance with their peers, learn to say “Thank you, I would be happy to dance with you,” dabbled with social secrets, like how to get invited back to the next party by making sure your goodbye includes a specific acknowledgement for the host, for example, “Thank you for inviting me this evening. The pigs in a blanket were divine, I would greatly appreciate getting the recipe from you,” if you don’t want a guarantee to be invited back, simply say “Thank you for having me,” and that is it.

These are priceless tools that I wanted my daughter to have, as silly as they may sound to some, I always want her to be able to make her own magic in every situation and etiquette goes a long way in this sometimes tattered world. The finale of Cotillion season is the Spring Fling and when the invitation arrived in our mailbox requiring a handwritten RSVP, I was utterly thrilled as the RSVP is a fading crusade. My daughter knew right away this was serious business and followed etiquette to the letter, handwrote her RSVP on her personalized stationery and placed it in the mailbox. We then started shopping for just the right dress, with her little bro’s help; we found just the one that made her spin in her bare feet after only trying on about a dozen dresses. The theme was set, Grecian-Taylor Swift. We quickly shopped for the shoes, and then the jewels, Pinterest-ing ourselves along the way. Finally, once all of the details were in place, we hopped back onto Pinterest and tagged the perfect hairdo.

The night of Spring Fling was upon us and it was a dream, my eyes filled with tears at how beautiful my little baby girl looked, so perfectly polished. It is times like this that being a girl’s Mommy is simply the greatest gift imaginable, as I curled her hair I listened as all of her favorite songs played and for just a moment time stopped – just me and my baby girl in the mirror getting ready. Time flies when you are having fun. I am not one to want to look back, as it can make my heart ache but when it came to this moment I got swept away with the montage of memories and landed right back into my little bathroom in the cul-de-sac in a little town in North Texas, and there was no other place I would rather be in the whole wide world. I dropped my daughter off in time for loads of group pics and gently reminded her to be her kind self and let her light shine.

She be-bopped off and I am sure broke a couple of hearts that night, I know she broke mine as she waved goodbye, just 12 years old and already she seems to own the whole world with simply her smile. I plan on sending my daughter to the Cotillion Plus – the Junior High edition as I found it quite comforting to know that every six weeks or so my daughter would get to practice how to act and how to be treated as the precious young lady that she is and more importantly practice one more way to shine as her brightest self.