Saturday, April 13, 2013

Of Bras, Panda Pillows, and Blissful Days

I have hesitated to write the first post here, believing that it must be perfect and set the tone for all things perfect in my new blogdom.

Well, if you'd like to read about perfection, you're in the wrong place, so after a week of being frozen, I'm just putting myself out there.  I don't think any of my readers wanted perfection - it's so boring after all! - so my hang-ups are all on me.  Sometimes I'm slow to learn these lessons.

As a matter of fact, one of the book titles I'm playing with is "Slow Learner."  I don't think it'll stick, but I come back to it over and over again.  Sometimes it is just so hard to learn the lessons...

But I digress.  Let me begin again.


Today Katherine and I hit a mother daughter milestone: our first time shopping for bras for her.  Now, given that she is ten and only has "mosquito bites" in the bra region, this is a couple years too early, but she was feeling uncomfortable in shirts, starting to hunch her shoulders and wear tank tops under just about everything, so a few girlfriends told me yes, it's time.  The bras are more for modesty and her own comfort than support, I'm told.

Okay, then.

My mother didn't ever take me bra shopping.  One day I came home from school, and she said "I bought you a present!" and there on my bed was a white lace edged polyester bra and panty set.  I was devastated - I wanted to be part of the process, and I wanted a plain white cotton bra with a little pink bow in the middle, just like all of my friends.  I was embarrassed by her choice, in the way that only an adolescent girl knows how to be embarrased.  I asked her if we could exchange it, and she got mad and told me that nothing she did was good enough for me....

Well, it isn't my favorite memory.

So for Katherine, I asked her quietly if she was ready to go bra shopping.  She was, and she let me know she was excited about it.  This afternoon, the two of us went out together to an awful mall (all malls are awful, in my opinion) and went bra shopping.

It was all about her.

She got a bright sports bra, and a nude cotton bra and a white cotton bra.  We talked a bit about how it seems like white won't show up under clothes, but it really does, and how if she wears the nude ones nobody will see them.  We went to Nordstrom to get fitted and we went to her favorite pre-teen girl store, Justice.  She got some new clothes (why do they grow so fast?!), and then we went to the (mall awful) restaurant of her choice.

She also got a giant furry blue panda pillow at Justice, and a furry hat with a funny monster face.  This is where she is: one moment, poised and asking for bras, and the next, ohhing and ahhing over what is essentially a big stuffed animal.  It's confusing, and sometimes it's snarky, but it's also magical.  She has one foot firmly in each camp, child and woman, and it is a reminder that I should be grateful that she retains touches of the little girl she once was, because soon they too, will be gone.

In the car, we listened to Adam Levine and Taylor Swift (I can't hear "Trouble" without thinking of the goats know what I mean, right?!) and Macklemore on the way home.  I ventured the question, tentatively: "Did you have a good day?" and I got - for once! - the answer I wanted. 

"It was a great day.  I'm happy, Mom."

A sigh of relief.  I did not mess up this day that she will always remember.  I honored her, and was able to provide what she needed.  I'll never forget this day, either.  My daughter took my arm, laughed with me, enjoyed my company.  We shared jokes, connected, giggled.  I think she felt understood, and I felt appreciated.

Tonight we watched "Back to the Future" together.  She protested initially (it's not exactly new and hip), but I insisted.  We laughed together over the antics of Marty McFly, we talked about how the movie came out when I was fifteen, and we ate home made popcorn.  She loved it as much as I did, and I could barely fathom that I'd first seen the movie as a girl, never comprehending that one day I'd watch it in the basement with my daughter.

Small things.  Enormous things.  Bliss.


My day to day life is more and more about moving forward with the big and small in life, and less and less about divorce.  I'm still working out some of the documentation (filing a quit claim on the house is a hassle, but Bryan is working with me on it), but I'm myself again: my name is my own, and I have proof not only on divorce papers, but also on my driver's license, health insurance, Social Security, bank accounts, and passport.  With each new document I come alive: I know that I am meant to be the person I am (re)becoming, and the certainty gives me courage.

Katherine announced over dinner a few days ago that it's probably time for me to date.  She's ready for me to fall in love with "Mr. Perfect" (her words, not mine!) and is hoping that he has a daughter in middle school that she can play pranks upon.  (She has worked out the details of these "hysterical" pranks in great detail.)  She has told me I shouldn't date online, because that's "so unromantic."  She does not have other suggestions for how I should meet people.  I am feeling the pressure - if Mr. Perfect is here, perhaps he could identify himself to me?!

So we move forward.  It's imperfect, silly, often exhausting, but it's also pure bliss.  My tiny baby, the one who only fit into preemie clothes at first, now wears a little flat beige cotton bra, and has her head on a furry panda pillow this evening.  My belly is full of popcorn and bad mall food.  My daughter has accepted her life, and is encouraging me to live mine.

And I am happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment