I know, I know. Liar, liar, pants on fire. I have made many promises to stop neglecting my blog. I've written down posts always meaning to finish but never do. I write pages and pages in my head vowing to put it all to paper and at the end of the day it becomes yet another thing left unchecked on my to-do list (which is also written down in my head.)
Yesterday in the mail I received a letter from K's school. I was actually pretty nervous since is was handwritten and came after the first week. Did she get in trouble? Were her test scores bad? Did I fill out the 50 pages required by LAUSD incorrectly? She just grinned as I opened up the mail.
Her first assignment as a fifth grader was to write and send a letter to someone who had a profound influence on her over the summer break. Shocked that she chose me, mean mommy, over D, fun daddy or N, her best friend who recently moved close to us. Even more shocking was the way this letter was written. It was the kind of gorgeous to-the-point message that I strive for in all my writing. We always spend the summer together, I don't like putting her in camp since our time together is always so fleeting. I always assumed she was sick of me always being there, her rolly eyes are usually an indication that she has reach her "sick of mom" point. I received this look quite often this summer.
She's a smart cookie my little one but likes to take the easy way out of her work and tends to play dumb so no one notices her smarts. She on the other hand notices everything, which can be good and bad. She once asked me why I go out of my way and give up everything for her. That was an easy question with a very hard answer.
I told her I know what it was like to grow up without a voice . She didn't get it. I didn't either for a very long time but I made a vow as a young kid to make sure if I ever had a child, that child would be heard. Quite loudly.
I grew up with no voice, literally and figuratively. Knowing at a young age that you have no one watching your back really does something to a small ego. While I don't believe that you should always offer the high praise (that creates another kind of problem called Sun Shining Out Of Your Ass Syndrome) offering none leaves you deflated and defeated. As a child it makes you feel sad, confused and left with a feeling that you are worthless. As an adult that feeling takes root and you become sad and worthless. I wasn't about to let another child ever feel like that.
The problem with this: as an adult that feeling is often misunderstood. Thankfully I am surrounded by wonderful people who know me and my reasons for doing some unconventional things. In a perfect world I would only have to interact with such people, in a flawed and real world I have to deal with everyone.
I do whatever I can to help my child pursue her dreams, whatever they may be. When she wanted to do karate I found the perfect dojo and made the commitment to her that I would her her stick with until she gets her black belt. She tests in December. She wanted to try gymnastics so after trying out a few gyms we found one that was perfect for her, one that was not a money machine (even though it is off the charts expensive) but the interest of my kid and her goals are always put first. When she ends up in a class where she feels like she isn't being trained right we find a teacher better suited for her needs.
At school we try to make sure she is in the best possible class to suit her needs. She isn't a traditional student and needs a teacher that understands that. In fact I am in the thick of a middle school dilemma that might end up with her being homeschooled. Does this make my life difficult? Yes. Do I care? Uh, no.
In her modeling and acting I do the same. When we had an issue back in the spring I wrote a letter to address the situation fully expecting to be dropped (the letter wasn't very nice) surprisingly I was met with kindness and understanding. We sat down face to face and they let me address my issues. They formulated a plan and stuck with it. We were all greatly rewarded.
It may sound like I am a pushy and overbearing mom but it's quite the opposite. I am not pushing my kid because I wanted to do karate, gymnastics, model or act. I am making sure she gets the chance to do the things she wants. I am making sure she knows how to fight for and earn the things she wants.
I know what it's like to dream about the future knowing that it was only destined to be a dream. I want my child to dream about something and understand that with hard work and support those dreams are possible.
To turn the possible into a reality you need a voice. To have a voice you need support. While I fully support my daughter, it's mandatory that she knows this. Her perfect rolly eyes are a sign that maybe she doesn't. I used to worry that she thought I was just an overbearing, overprotective, pushy mom who had an agenda (which is probably what most people think).
When I opened my mail yesterday I received my answer. After my tears dried, the warmth of her hugs turned to the warming of my heart. She got it. She understood. She knew. I don't care if the whole world thinks I'm crazy. She knows the truth. She knows.
When she told me in her soft little voice that she loved me I know she was screaming because her voice, when it comes from her heart is loud.
VERY VERY LOUD.