The past few months, my 5 year old daughter has spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about her appearance. Worrying about how to style her hair. Painstakingly picking out her outfits, trying to make them look as “girly” and as “dainty” as possible. This usually amounts to huge amounts of pink. Ruffles. It looks like Barbie puked on her when she tries to dress herself. She pushes her limits too, constantly asking to wear lipstick. Or hoping she can get a pair of shoes with heels.
I am not sure where Shaila gets it from. I certainly may have been a fashion plate at one point in my life (briefly. VERY briefly), but now I find myself dressed in something I can kick around in all day. Yoga pants. Sweats. Comfy hoodies. Working from home has removed the desire to spend a lot of time styling my hair or putting on makeup. I do clean up pretty well when I want to, but it hasn’t been a focus of mine since she was born.
I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but when I am not working, parenting, wasting time on Facebook, watching “Housewives” on Bravo, or writing this blog, I write songs.
I picked up a guitar for the first time late in life – my late 20′s and have been playing less than 10 years. But in that time, I finally figured out a way to channel my love and passion for music.
When I did my first open mic and did some Indigo Girls and Jewel covers, I was astounded when I received a standing ovation. Never mind that 20 of the 30 people there were my friends and had all been drinking heavily that day.
The feedback I got was. “Well, you don’t play guitar that well, but you sure can sing.” Which was nice to hear because in High School I tried out for “Grease” and didn’t even get into the Chorus.
New Year’s Day, 2012
I was tired. I was sitting at my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s house, waiting for a funeral that shouldn’t have been happening. I was exhausted, emotionally drained.
So I did what any normal person would do. I insulted the gay people who were sitting next to me.
Because if I have learned one thing in life, it’s that when the going gets rough, just take it out on the gays.
I was sitting in family’s house, mourning the loss of my seventeen year old niece on New Year’s Day.
In a house crowded with her memories, her parents’ grief and so few “right” words. Because really, what ARE the right words?
2 Days Ago
Two days earlier, I had been standing in my kitchen, preparing for New Year’s with my mother-in-law. We had just been to Wegman’s, where we sampled too many cheeses. But we were excited. For New Year’s Eve. For a brand new start.
For you see, there once was a girl I knew who could walk into a room and smile a smile so bright that it would light up the darkest corners within. A girl who would laugh with such abandon that you couldn’t help but laugh with her, whether or not she let you in on the joke. A beautiful brunette who radiated an enormous amount of self-awareness and confidence within the petite package of a cute, bubbly teenage American girl.
A girl who liked Taylor Swift and hanging out with her friends. A girl who was an amazing, incredible soccer player.
A kick-ass sister.
A wonderful daughter.
And I thought she was a pretty rocking niece.
Today, just a few hours ago, we received a phone call telling us that this beautiful, lovely, amazing girl is gone.