I hesitate to write about my child these days. She is her own person with her own thoughts, style, (secret) blog (and, no, I haven't found or tried to find her secret blog, and if I stumbled across it, I wouldn't read it unless she asked me to or gave me permission). But it's New Year's Eve, and once she and her friend leave the house this evening, I will be alone and quiet until sometime tomorrow late morning or early afternoon, and she is my heart and center, and I can't not write about her.
My daughter is 17 now, edging on adulthood but still goofy as hell. I love it all, love every phase more than the last phase. This phase is more difficult for me, though. She's not pushing me away or running away or turning away. But away she is going.
Here is how I see it: She is growing away.
A few weeks before she turned 17, I could sense the grownup shift in her. I will never be able to explain it unless I write it in poem.
I believe poetry gives us the ability to write the things we cannot say. I stole that from some other poet or several other poets, but I heard it so many times in so many different ways during my residency last summer and during this past semester that it has become my own belief. Also, I was able to write poems that said things I can't say. So there.
My daughter has been invited to a "black tie" New Year's Eve party at a good friend's house. His parents, too, are having a party for their adult friends (and it absofuckinglutely does NOT bother me that I am not on the invite list because, well, yeah. Me and parties. Not such a good combination. Plus, champagne gives me a massive headache). But my Girl is thrilled to get to dress up.
Being my Girl, she took "black tie" literally because she wanted to, bought herself a bow tie and sent me on a search (well, I volunteered) for a button up shirt. So, hey howdy, I hit Walmart at 4:30 on New Year's Eve and found one women's white shirt and one small, periwinkle blue man's shirt.
Walmart wasn't horrible. Or maybe because I'm in a good mood, I didn't mind the horrible bits.
Now her friend is here, and they are getting ready, started getting ready before 5 though the party doesn't start until 8. They have a ride there so they won't be driving the mad, alcoholic streets of Zanesville, Ohio, at 1 a.m., and they are staying over with a friend who lives close to the host's house. Also, my Girl told me I can text her all night if I want to.
God. I love teens. Someone tried to tell me that I probably love teens because my daughter is a teen, and that probably I'll love college kids when my kid is a college kid. And probably I will love college kids. But I'll still love teens. I simply adore them because they are so on the edge of greatness or disaster, because they are brilliant but make THE worst choices (some of which are life-altering/ruining). They are magic, both white and black magic.
Yesterday, a gaggle of teens helped the young host set up the teen area of the party complete with a "bar" they constructed, a black board with "cocktail" names listed (they are all wildly inappropriate and contain obscenities, are named after the kids, are hilarious).
I've missed this, having manic teens in my house who are about to go off to experience something new. They've all been to New Year's Eve parties before (we hosted one last year). But not "fancy dress."
Pencil skirts and curled hair.
Glittery eye shadow.
Leggings with a fancy pattern.
Three-inch heels (GAH!).
(note: I'll be returning the man's shirt. It was huge on her, as I thought it would be. I think the neck size is probably my kid's waist size. The white shirt also may not work, but she's wearing the bow tie anyway)
I have a feeling the girls will have more fun at the sleepover later. The boys aren't quite as on the edge of adulthood as the girls (or at least as on the edge as my kid seems to be). My Girl finds high school boys hilarious but lately really icky. She's had her share of boyfriends, but lately? Just icky. Also, because she is small, the boys like to manhandle her, not "molest," just pick her up a lot, haul her around, toss her back and forth.
Sounds worse than it is. It's a kind of Shiloh Shepherd puppy sort of behavior. They are overly affectionate and don't realize how big they are.
Oh, I have lost my blogging edge. Still, I'll post this now and maybe return later to clean it up or rewrite it.
While I am alone tonight, I may write. Or maybe I'll risk dashing to the video store for a stack of movies. Or maybe I'll use a gift card or two and rent something from Amazon or iTunes. Or maybe I'll read. Or maybe I'll make something with my hands.
Which reminds me, I posted but never published my experience of creating a hollow book as a gift for my child. I think I'll publish the post. I just forgot to. It's just post back. Lots and lots of pictures.
Never mind. Blogger has changed or something, and the formatting is all messed up now when I post pictures. I'll redo it another day and size the photos smaller.
Happy 2012. My 2011 surprised the shit out of me. I have no expectations for 2012 though I have expectations for myself (don't flunk out of grad school. Don't run out of money. Don't get too fat. Don't let the house dust eat my cat. only say "no" to every other social invitation. get paid to teach).
I know the world is messed up and ugly, but only in those places where it is messed up and ugly. I find so much humor, beauty, joy, creativity, art, music all over the place that I can't focus for too long on the nasty stuff. I can't stand the thought of missing all the good stuff because I'm obsessing over the ugly messes.