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There are very few genuine surprises in life. My wife and I seized the opportunity to enjoy delivery room gender reveals by not finding out the sex of our babies while they were in utero. That said, when we had three boys in a row, the surprises began to feel a bit anticlimactic. When my wife was pregnant with our fourth child, we opted for yet another surprise but resigned ourselves to the fact that we were likely to receive familiar news. So much so, in fact, that when the OB-GYN showed me our newborn baby I exclaimed, “hey doc, I think something’s wrong with his penis!” Suffice it to say that having a daughter was a true surprise and a new experience for us.

About a week later, I took my in-laws and three boys to a sidewalk sale happening at a nearby shopping plaza containing our favorite children’s store to stock up on supplies, entertain the kids, and (most importantly) give my wife and our sleeping newborn a quiet house. After purchasing the baby items we needed, we took advantage of the face painting happening outside a neighboring clothing store.

As we waited in line for the face painting, I started looking through racks of clothing on clearance from the fancy boutique that we’d never ventured inside of before. It wasn’t the type of store we’d typically visit, but I was a captive audience on the sidewalk and, being the proud father of a daughter for the first time, one particular dress caught my eye. The dress was expensive, but it was on sale for 75% off and I thought it would look adorable on my daughter. There was only one problem – it was only available in a size 5 and she was less than a month old. Nonetheless, I decided to make the impulse purchase as an investment in her future fashion. Below is a photo of my sleeping infant daughter “wearing” her new dress.

When we returned home and I showed my wife the dress, she thought it was pretty but was befuddled by my decision to buy our daughter a dress that she wouldn’t be able to wear until years later. I did some quick math in my head and determined that it would likely fit her around the time my nephew would be having his Bar Mitzvah (he was an 8-year-old at the time). We had a chuckle about purchasing her dress for the event five years in advance (let’s just say fashion isn’t a focal point in our household) and put the dress away in storage.

Fast forward from the summer of 2014 to the spring of 2019. As we planned for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, we told my daughter the story about the dress and she got very excited about the prospect of possibly wearing it. Because she’s a peanut of a 4 & 1/2-year-old, we were nervous that she’d still be too small for the dress. I took the dress out of storage and handed it to my daughter, who gleefully put it on.

She could hardly contain her enthusiasm about the dress fitting and I had an equal amount of trouble refraining from gloating to my wife about my “plan” coming to fruition.

She looked gorgeous in her dress on the day of the Bar Mitzvah (as did my beautiful wife). As Hannibal used to say on the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together!