A Wild and Free Spirit
Blanche, my first daughter, is going to be a teenager within days. She is wild and free. She has been practicing the part for a long time. The tween years are slowly killing me, and it’s not her fault. There are four siblings each one year apart and the whole Bunch is in the puberty years. Brody Bunch birthdays are in progress and by Thanksgiving, the Bunch will be 11, 12, 13 and 14 years old. This is not for the weak. I have a sense of humor, selective hearing, and a short term memory.
Blanche’s birthday falls during Jewish day of Atonement, ironic. Yet, I look at this beautiful child, beautiful on the outside, and more beautiful on the inside, I am distracted by her gorgeous hair which she defied me with and dyed it blue using Kool Aid. Thankfully, she already had her Bat Mitzvah last month and our family photos do not show evidence of her rebellion. I should send her a thank you note. Nonetheless, I am learning a lot through Blanche.
Life Lessons I Have Learned from My Daughter
So far, I have learned some important life lessons, in random order, by being Blanche’s Mom:
- Find Your Group of Weirdos, These are Your People. Blanche took this mantra and lives by it. She is right, she surrounds herself with creative, artsy, thoughtful people. IF I was her age, I would want to be one of her weirdos.
- Mix Up Your Art Supplies. I was floored when Blanche, at a young age, mixed up all of the separate beads into one bucket. Markers, pens, paint brushes, colored pencils, dice, who cares, let the shoe boxes overflow. Something great will be created. Especially with hot glue.
- Write, photograph, sing. Spend your time being creative, it is an outlet worth spending a lot of time. And, it is a gift to experience the journey and the outcomes.
- Say bad words if it enhances your story, but not when you are angry.
- Stand up for those who need your voice. Be at rallies, write letters, go to marches.
- Feed the hungry (she learned this genetically as her parents met doing this exact effort).
- Be engaged in the City: there is so much to see, learn and do!
- Love being in the ensemble. Not everyone can be the lead character, and the lead always needs an ensemble.
- You look good. Don’t worry what others think. It’s not too short, not too tight, etc. as long as your ass is covered and your boobs don’t show.
- Gratitude is easy. Don’t ask for things and be appreciative when you receive things.
- Even with an out of tune piano and broken guitar strings, you can still teach yourself, for hours, how to play instruments.
- It’s okay to wear your old Converse kicks with a dress, but giving in and wearing your gold sweater that matches your new dress, makes your Mom happy.
- Inviting your Mom to hang out with your friends especially at school dances and parties is awesome, as long as I know when it’s time to leave.
Regarding the photos above: Blanche at 5 made me one of the hearts. And, I am giving her the companion heart when she turns 13.
Blanche made me the “I Love You” heart when she was in Kindergarten. I remember her hammering the nails when I volunteered in her classroom. This heart hangs in our foyer. Last night, about 7 years after receiving the heart from Blanche, I found this little heart, “You Are Loved” and knew right away that this was meant for me to give to Blanche on her birthday. These are companion pieces of art – just like Blanche and me. There is a lot of love that is woven in many directions.