Friday, November 19, 2010
So K turned 7 today. She woke up early today full of excitement, wonder and a little anger because she didn't feel or look "very 7" she felt "kinda 6 still." I told her not to be in such a hurry to get older and she said she just wanted to feel older. I get that. I've been waiting to feel older for decades, it never really kicked in. I sent her off to school in a pretty pink dress, black Uggs and a smile over a mile long. She is truly a happy girl and to me, that's the best and only present necessary.
Last week was her party. A small affair for about 70 adults and kids (no, I'm not kidding). She wanted a karate party and we obliged, mostly because it would be easier for us to have everything inside one room and most of the work done by her sensei (poor guy!). I had no idea what to expect and I was completely blown away. Not only were the kids given a wonderful fun-filled lesson they were also treated to an incredible demonstration by an amazing group of black belts. Even K did a demonstration, of course at the time she didn't know this but she was actually testing for her blue belt. After the "cake ceremony" (which was an earsplitting round of the birthday song followed by a giant samurai sword cutting the cake) K was presented with her blue belt and a pair of blue nunchuks. While it must have been overwhelming at the time, I could see the look of accomplishment on her little doughnut-cake covered face.
Watching all of this through the eyes of my camera lens gave it a surreal feeling for me. I didn't grow up the way she will. I wasn't surrounded by the kind of love and attention that she has. I didn't know that feeling of accomplishment as a child. Hell, I didn't even know it as an adult. Watching K grow up into an amazing person has finally given that to me. Seeing my daughter owning it at seven makes me proud of us both.
Seven was a hard age for me. I was seven when my parents got divorced. I was seven when we moved to the city and I had to start a new school. I was seven when my mother decided that she would use me to punish my father because he left her. I was seven when I realized that I was alone. All my bad memories started at that age. I think my recent absentmindedness might be traced back to knowing that my own child was about to turn seven.
While I watched K through my Canon I realized that she is not me, she will never be me and she will never have to suffer like me. That's not to say that her whole life will be peachy, I'm sure she will have her own issues but she won't have her childhood come to a crashing halt at seven. I'm not blaming this on being a child of divorce, although that was most likely the catalyst it wasn't the cause of my unhappiness. I'm not going to psychoanalyze my childhood, I've certainly done that enough around here. I'm simply going to state a fact about me and my revelations regarding parenting a child (parenting a parent is a whole other story). I put K's needs before mine. I do it all the time. In fact I tend to ignore my own needs to make sure hers are met. Not taking care of myself is a problem in itself and I am working on that. I am learning that it is possible to find a balance and meets the needs of my family at the same time.
What happened to me was the opposite. The needs of the child were not met at all. Leaving a child to physically and emotionally fend for themselves will yield catastrophic results. Of course the reverse isn't too good for the kid either, but I would have gladly taken "I am the center of the universe" over "I am not worth it." K knows that she is the center of my world, she knows that other planets exist in our family solar system. We all understand there's a lot of planetary activity in our daily trek around the sun, happily we also know that it isn't just a black hole of nothingness.
Today my baby turns an age that I've been dreading for years. When she announced her disappointment at not feeling any older I just laughed. When she looks back at her childhood she's not going have a feeling of dread. She's going to have a melange of happy memories, she might even remember some bad things, that's just the way life is sometimes. When she's older she will relive the start of her seventh year and remember getting her blue belt, having a ton of friends around her, having her cake cut with a sword by her favorite sensei and having her parents undying love and affection whenever she needed it (and sometimes even when she didn't).
Who knows, maybe I can stop fixating on all the things that happened to me when I was seven.
Wouldn't that be lucky?
Happy Birthday to my darling K,
I love you more than words can say!
(and I know a lot of words)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tomorrow is K's 7th birthday. How is this possible? I remember the early days sitting at home watching her in her aquarium bouncer. I remember walking around Santa Monica with an infant K asleep in her stroller, jealous of the moms who were having conversations over lunch with their little girls. Now I'm that mom giving sweet smiles to new moms and their babies. I remember one day when K was about a week old, I was sitting on the couch holding her, completely freaked out at the idea of me being responsible for this new tiny person for the next few decades. I remember thinking that at least she was a baby, I had no idea what the hell I would do with a seven year old.
Not much has changed. I still have no clue what to do with a seven year old and I am shocked, proud and amazed that I lasted this long. I am thrilled that I am now the mom happily lunching with her little girl, I'm just a little surprised at the topics of the conversations. At the time of my early envy I had no idea that little girls liked to talk about farting so much, of course this might just be mine. That's OK, I can roll with that for a while. Lately the conversations are about boys and while I find this to be adorable I thought they would happen when we were celebrating double digit birthdays.
As I head off to bed I will think about where I was seven years and marvel at how far I have come. I will think about the first time I was handed my new baby, how we looked into each other's eyes for answers, both a little scared and unsure. I will think about all the answers I have found in those beautiful blue eyes and hope that K has found a few herself. I will look forward to what the next seven years will bring with great optimism and some of that old fear. I will hope that she grows up happy and secure and not so obsessed with bodily functions.
I'm pretty sure that in our house the last one might be a problem, that's cool, maybe it will gross out potential suitors.
Of course that didn't happen in my case either.
Happy Birthday K. I love you!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Every night I go to bed and think about all the things I forgot to do. OK, sometimes it's not really forgetting but more like never got around to doing. This blog is always at the top of that list. It's not that I don't have things to write about. It's sometimes I have too much and I don't know where to start. K has been so busy but I don't really think anyone needs another detailed report of a photo shoot. She did lose her first tooth, I almost wrote about that and how that tiny tooth held on a few days so could do a quick shoot for Kmart, but I opted to spend the time with my little toothless daughter.
We had a great Halloween too, the three of us running all over the place that weekend. D and I were too tired from the stressful week we both had to go to the cool parties we were looking so forward to attending. That was fine with both of us. K had worked all week for Target and D was busy moving offices and managing various projects. We did take K trick-or-treating in costumes. K was perfectly dressed as Hermione Granger, D was Brett Favre with a camera and I was Hit Girl from Kickass, my absolute favorite character this year. It's funny, Halloween used to be a big deal before we had K. We would obsess over what to wear and spend hours looking for the right costumes for whatever party we were hitting that year. Now it's all about the kid and candy and I can't say that I mind. It was a lot of fun.
I guess that kind of explains the sudden absence from writing. Instead of writing about things I was experiencing them. While I love writing it became something I needed to do. I would spend hours wondering what to write instead of of finding things to do. I've been out doing stuff. Stuff I will write about in the future.
For now I just want to say that I haven't stopped or forgotten. In fact I am finishing this post which was started a while ago. So while I know it's really just me writing about why I'm not writing at least it's something and one less thing to keep me up on that.
I have a whole mess to write about on that front including a discussion with Dr. Phil who thinks I might benefit from meds.
Me and meds? This should be a new chapter in my life, something I do not take lightly and usually dismiss.
Stick around, it should be a good fight!