Here we have my favorite picture of my daughter, Maybelline. Isn't she beautiful? I just love that look in her eyes. It's the whole, "What are you doing taking my picture? I'm an artist. Leave me in peace. Grrr." look.
I gotta tell, ya, I always wanted boys. I wanted six boys, in fact. Can I also tell you that I'm pretty sure I'm glad I only have two boys? But I didn't know what to do with myself when I had a girl. Girls are so ... girly. And Maybelline is no exception to that, though you can't tell from the picture. She was my party princess child, loving her fancy dresses and sparkly sunglasses. She talked her brothers into having Polish tea parties, where they'd all dress up in their Christmas or Easter clothes and have tea parties on blankets on the floor, raising their pinkies and talking in really bad British accents. My MIL is Polish, so, well, I have no idea why they were Polish tea parties.
When she was eight, I gave Maybelline a real tea party for her birthday. All the little girls showed up in fancy dresses, hats and white gloves. We used the good china and silver, had tiny éclairs and sugar cubes for the tea. Even grapes on a grape platter with silver scissors. She was in heaven.
When she was five I ordered the gosh awfullest ugly fabric online for a dress. It was a silver sheer fabric with giant fuschia and periwinkle abstract flowers all over it. The dress itself was fuschia satin and the sheer was an overlay. Puffy sleeves, full skirt, sparkly pink sunglasses and antique white gloves. She was in heaven.
When she was three she wore a pearl necklace I picked up at an antique shop in Jacksonville. It was the tiniest pearl necklace I'd ever seen and it fit her perfectly. I think she wore it for about a year, never taking it off, before it broke.
Fast forward to 14. She loves her guitar. That sparkly party girl is still in there. She's just fighting with it to find her identity. I LOVE that she's taken to the guitar like a duck to water, that she is looking for herself so hard, trying to figure out where she's separate from her brothers and parents. Mostly, it seems, where she's separate from me. And I read that that's totally normal and good for a teen girl. It's just weird. I don't know if it helps or hurts that she and I are so different in our personalities and interests. I suppose if we were a lot alike we'd be fighting all the time. But because we're so different, I don't always know how to talk to her. Or she to me. I think parenting is just hard any way you slice it.
But parenting is well worth any aggravation or difficulty. In fact, I find myself thinking that I can't afford to look at it as aggravating or difficult. I have to look at it as investing in something bigger than me. Something so worth my time that it's more of a joy to get down and dirty. Of course, I only look at it that way occasionally. Not when the schoolwork, jackets and shoes are all over the house AGAIN.
Until I write again ...