Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mama Mia

Mia was born eleven years ago very early yesterday morning. She was born with a dimple on her cheek and a crease in her forehead, evidence of a suspicion or analysis of everything in her world -- people, activities, food. As she grew, she didn't tackle anything until she was sure she could master it; talk to anyone until she was sure she liked them; or taste anything until she was sure she would like it.

She's still just like this today.

To help prepare for life, she asks more questions than a trial lawyer. I've always said that anything that pops into her head comes out her mouth and into my ears. She usually starts a sentence with "Mom?" And when she was young, I was sure she said my name about 400 times a day. Today, it's only 100 because she's at school for most of the day.

"Mom? Is driving hard?"
"Mom? When you go to college, who feeds you?"
"Mom? Is a grocery checkout person a good job?"
"Mom? How does a credit card work?"
"Mom? What's insurance?"
"Mom? How do you break up with a boy?"

And a special one from the family archives:
"Mom? When you got pregnant with Max, where did you and Dad mate?"
"What?" I asked, in shock.
"I mean, did you do it in the backyard? Why didn't I see you?"

(This question came up during a heavy Animal Planet period in her life and initiated a very interesting conversion about reproduction that essentially ended with "That's gross!")

The gifts that she brings to the world are her compassion, her smarts, her love for animals, and a very high moral compass. She's crazy about school. She loves to read. She embraces her extracurricular activities -- piano, taekwondo, swimming, horseback riding -- with gusto and joy. And at her current age, her girlfriends are the center of her world.

As a fifth grader, she is in middle school and integrated in classes with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Accordingly, we're seeing more interest in fashion and pop music and hearing more about boys. She goes to school dances and asks constantly for a cell phone. She's becoming prone to very sad tear-stained breakdowns when she is disciplined, and her parents embarrass her more frequently these days.

There is nothing about her that is relaxed, laid back, dorky, or complacent.

So as we go into Year #12, we're bracing ourselves for the yin and yang of adolescence. The love and hate, silence and noise, highs and lows. And while it will surely be exhausting and challenging, my hope for her is that anything that pops into her head will continue to come out her mouth and into my ears
(454 words)


  1. That's beautiful. What a smart girl, that question about who feeds you in college is clear evidence of an ability to anticipate potential future problems.

  2. I remember when I was walking home from grade school one day, stopping by a drug store and picking up a book that explained the mechanics of sexual intercourse. After reading the explanations and seeing the illustrations, my reaction was, "MY parents would never do something like that!"