I am sorry for all the people who do not have a girl like mine in their life (even if I know that she’s one of a kind), if only because I cannot imagine my life without her. She hangs out in the kitchen while I cook, drawing. If she’s not reading she’s drawing and if she’s not drawing, she’s reading, and if she’s not doing either, she’s raising her voice in some extemporaneous rant on all that ills the world and how to fix it. (take note, world.)
I would not be thirteen again for all the mega millions in the world. (I confess: I have not bought a lottery ticket since the week I turned 18. it seemed the only immediate coming-of-age thing I could do, and I still have that ticket in a scrapbook, somewhere. but all the mania last week -biggest jackpot ever!- softened even my grumpy old heart and I thought maybe, maybe, maybe. my life has felt like a movie lately, why not? but no.)
And I think if she could be any other age, if she could whisper a wish to an unplugged Zoltar machine, she would. Thirteen is hard.
We’ve had a rough go of it lately, this little unit of mine. The stuff I write about and the stuff I don’t. And a tumultuous age plus tough circumstance equals everything is amplified. And for good reason. These years are the years that really matter. She barely remembers the sweet and easy years, the ones I call our golden years, when our life looked like a magazine spread. Thrift store eclectic meets nerdish bookworm in the inner city! I would say that we didn’t know how sweet we had it, but we did, oh we did. I knew every day, with that curly headed toddler beside me with the gigantic vocabulary (sometime I’ll dig up some audio clips of her as a talking one year old and you won’t believe your ears), that it could be gone in a flash. And it was. Gone. We moved, life changed. It happens.
The moment to moment is awfully sweet around here. But the big picture is askew and we’re not quite sure how to right it.
That girl of mine, though, she is so good. So helpful and full of wit and humor. Lucky is the person who knows her.
But when she’s discouraged, and trying to be her fantastic self in spite of it, I sing the Mumford and Sons song Sister to her. Do you know that one? I wrote a little here about what I feel about Mumford and Sons almost two years ago. I have a lot of music that I listen to on my own, the husband has stuff he likes better than anyone else (he’s got a soft spot for anarchy-folk), the daughter keeps certain things in her headphones (how many times in a row can anybody listen to Poker Face?) and even Mister Six has his own special preferences (although, who doesn’t love Raffi?) but we have a shared Most Loved list and you know Mumford and Sons is on it.
I don’t know how some British guys who don’t even know us managed to write a song for my awesome daughter, exactly where she is right now, but they did. Sister don’t let go, I tell her. We’ll figure this out. We will.