Adventure Week Ten

“If I only had a girl…”

My mom had a girl.

Obviously 🙂

She tells me that while she was pregnant she practiced tying bows, just in case.

Hair ribbons.

Dress sashes.

Maybe that’s what happened to me. I never learned to tie a bow.

And (so) I had a boy.

Shhh. I know logic doesn’t work that way.

I also love my boy.

And I love other boys, too. 

In fact, every infant I’ve had the joy of keeping for awhile when their mommy returned to work – was a boy. 

Adventure Ten is no snub towards boys, but it is ALL ABOUT THE GIRL.

I blamed so many things on being an only child. With no siblings at the dinner table to mock my body or tease me about boy crushes, I could keep anything I wanted a secret at home. And secret keeping can become habitual.

In time, I grew to blame myself. Why didn’t I tell my mama stuff? Why was I afraid to ask if she would buy me makeup? Why did I try to hide my tears when that guy didn’t like me back? Why did I never tell her all I wanted to be when I grew up?

Eventually I learned to blame Eve, and her tasting of good and evil, and her ushering of death.

With the help of professional counseling, I came to see myself and my mother and my grandmother as girls caught in a cycle of mere survival.

The death curse took nanny’s mother away from her when she was just a little girl. What happens to a girl without a mama…

Girls without mamas can fail to learn how to celebrate.

I’m pretty sure that my mama was rarely celebrated. I know it had some to do with the alcoholic father. Some.

But I think it also had to do with the mother who probably wasn’t celebrated herself as a child.

I once blamed socio-economic status, but I don’t buy into that anymore. You can celebrate within any budget.

Girls with mamas that don’t know how to celebrate can fail to learn it, too.

Right now you are probably wondering about that word: celebrate.

And I will try to explain.

Let’s use the most basic of celebrations: the birthday party.

My mama always offered me a birthday party. 

ALWAYS.

EVERY YEAR.

I had a love/hate relationship with the birthday party. Inside my head, I dreamed of how it might be. I contemplated locations. My favorite was the back room of the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Parlor. Some elementary school friend had hers there one year. But the excitement was offset by sweaty palms when I considered the ending of every party I’d attended:

– the opening of presents, in front of everyone.

That was enough for me to forego any group celebration. 

Why? I wasn’t shy. I had friends.

Why were birthday parties ok, just not my birthday party?

I think it might be this –

I never saw my mama have a birthday party.

And I’m guessing that she never saw her mama have a birthday party.

Let’s be clear. I saw my mama and my grandmama celebrate other people, but I’m not sure that I ever saw them celebrate themselves.

And I followed them.

It didn’t matter that the offers came. I followed their example, not their offers.

And I think it hindered my friendships with other girls. 

You psychiatrist readers will want to scream, “You’re simplifying things.”

Perhaps.

But there are girls who know how to properly celebrate themselves and their accomplishments and there are girls who don’t.

And the difference can divide.

We non celebratory girls can grow judgmental. 

I am grateful for girlfriends who taught me better. I could list a couple of dozen. Most celebrate from a sense of wonder and gratitude and joy in Eve’s creator, who called her out from hiding.

They celebrate bodies and minds and beauty in every sort of form.

They laugh and cry and twirl.

And I’m making up for lost time. I’m telling my secrets and listening to others. 

I’m loving a lot of girls.

And on Adventure Week Ten, I became a trunk keeper for a little boutique clothing store for girls.

All ages of girls.

I have some catching up to do.

Sshhhh.

Mama’s birthday is May 14th and I’m throwing her a party and somehow I’m going to get both of us to wear the ruffly pants and twirl.

Thanks, Ashley!

And Matilda Jane!

WATCH THE HEART OF THE TWIRL
 
 Someone’s watching; celebrate yourself!

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