12 years ago today, at 8:20 in the morning after 8 hours of labor, out came the girl child. She had a ton of hair the nurses coiffed tall and high so they could show her off. Named after a sassy 60′s star and her grandmother, she has been the bane and joy of my existence ever since.
We brought her home from the hospital, set her on the floor in her car seat next to the bewildered cat, and wondered what to do next. She turned out to be a cranky little thing for the first few months, and just as we were starting to think we’d made a big mistake, she smiled (and it wasn’t a gassy smile). Game over. So we kept her.
Kept her even when she had meltdowns in the middle of stores, necessitating the swift abandonment of any items and prompt removal from the premises. Kept her even when she would pee on the floor 20 seconds after saying she didn’t have to go. Kept her even after she cut a big, fat chunk out of her baby brother’s hair and locked him in the bedroom. Alone. Requiring the assistance of a locksmith to the tune of $100.
Keeping her meant I could tickle the beejesus out of her and hear that chortle that makes my skin tingle. Meant I could see that hair turn the color of the palest gold and turn grown ladies jealous. Meant I gritted my teeth and said nothing when she was creating her latest concoction of food and science, which would be rediscovered in the freezer months later. Meant I could hear her teachers say what a pleasure she was to have in class, despite the talking. Meant I could watch her discover a joy of writing and making things I would never think of.
This is a new era we’re about to begin – the teenage era. So far we’ve had our share of hormonal episodes and we’ve still got some years to go. But there’s also been some blossoming into the person she will become – the one who hears her own music and is rocking her own style, the one who writes stories about her classmates and teachers that circulate the school, whose science teacher says she is full of creativity and originality (despite the talking). The one who is kind and full of big ideas. The one whose shine and magic grows ever brighter.
Being her mom can be a challenge for sure, but I’m the lucky one to have ended up with her. Especially if she makes a ton of money as a writer and gets that mansion with a room for me like she promised. Happy birthday, baby girl.