Last week, my daughter, Cate, was thrilled for three reasons.
The first reason was probably the most thrilling. Her brother was (still is) grounded. No friends, no computer, no X-Box. I understand why this pleases her, as I am a little sister too. There's just something awesome about having stuff all to yourself, like the computer and X-box, and thing number two that she was so thrilled about.
ME! Yes, me!
The second reason she was thrilled was because I told her that the two of us were going to have a special girl's night together. We would go to her school's holiday fun night together! AND THE CROWD GOES WILD! Yep, just we two, us gals, having a good ole time without the boys, one of which would be sitting at home, bored off his assholio, which made the evening's plans all the more AWESOME. She had mom to herself and her brother was in tru-uh-uh-ble! (Ha-ha)
Reason number three? Mom went balls out and splurged on a gingerbread house and cookie to decorate at the holiday event. The knows I'm all about the bargain, so spending $25 bucks on the house and $7 for the cookie was a big fucking deal. Normally, I wouldn't have spend that kind of cash, but part of the money went to the school, and it's an easy way to give back to my kid, and after all, it was a special girl's night out!
So off we went to the holiday event. I'm sure I was more stoked then Cate, and that's saying a lot, because the kid is a Christmas lunatic. You can read about that by clicking this link Yes, Catherine, there is a Santa Claus. I just love being with her and I was giddy. Anyhoooo….she beelines for the ornament decorating craft where her pals are busy painting away. Alrlighty then, five more bucks! She paints one side and gives me the - I just want to run around like a monkey with all my friends because sitting still is for suckers- face. I tell her to run.
RUN AND HAVE FUN.
I didn't want her to sit with me and be miserable sucker. The kid has shitty fine motor skills and was only painting the ornament because I offered it and because he pals were doing it. After the monkeys were done running, there was still a good ½ hour until the start of the movie. What to do? Decorate the goddamn motherfucking million dollar gingerbread castle, that's what!
And so we sit, and so does her buddy A. A is a big fan of sitting still, doing crafts, and reading - basically all the stuff my kid is not a fan of at all. At all! A asks if she can help. Of course she can. My girl starts to wander, because that's what she does. She paces back and forth on her tip toes. She wanders around invading the personal space of others. She jabbers, sings, twirls, and giggles. My girl is having a blast. A is too. She's decorating the ever loving shit out of the gingerbread, sneaking bites of candy and frosting, giggling and talking with Cate, as Cate alternates between wandering, singing, and climbing off and on the chair to help a bit with the decorating
Cate is in her space, yet A calmly reminds her to be respectful. A says to me, "Well, it's a good thing I'm comfortable with kooky, because if I wasn't, I couldn't be friends with Cate, and that would be sad, because she is so awesome. See?" She points at Cate, who is twirling around by another table, singing the song Mele Kalikimaka, rather loudly. I say to A, "Yes she is. And so are you."
My girl spent the rest of the night wandering, giggling, and chugging hot chocolate, occasionally plopping down with her friends to watch the movie. Between this whirlwind of activity, she made pit stops on my lap for hugs and kissed my cheeks. This is how WE do girl's night.
This is how I get to BE with my daughter. I suppose it's not the typical mother-daughter sit down, craft, talk, and focus on each other kind of special, but for me, I feel close to her just by being in her world. She doesn't let a lot of people in. She's not interested. But she gives me what I need by letting me into her space, by letting me witness her boundless enthusiasm for life as she seeks to soak up as much as her sensory seeking senses can possibly absorb.
Her friend, A, knows how to BE with her too. A knows how to do the things that make it possible for her to be with a friend she thinks is so "awesome."
These are the things we do for love.