Lemons and Rabbits

When my first daughter was two, my mother sewed her a dress she called “The Peter Rabbit Dress” — pink, her favorite color then, with a print of little Peter Rabbits holding baskets. A few years later, she was happy to pass this dress along to her little sister.

Last weekend, on an impulse, I bought this 20-year-old daughter a summer dress, with an elegant lemon pattern. I haven’t bought her a dress in years, since she began working and buying her own clothes, but this dress seemed exactly perfect for her.

At 20, she’s a variation of who she was at 4 — smart and funny, determined to make her own decisions, as fallible as the rest of us. Her birthright, though, goes far beyond a print of rabbits or lemons. As much as any man — despite Alabama’s draconian bent — she’s at the helm of her own ship, in seas of all weather.