Stubborn Love

Dear Meg,

*Your favorite song as of August 2017*

You’re Meg, right now. Meggles. Megatron. Leaning hard into A Wrinkle In Time and renaming yourself after the main character (Margaret, Meg for short), I can see you–more so than with your Harry Potter phase–starting to slowly ease into the process of figuring out who you are. While remembering to call you “Meg” has been a difficult transition, I really enjoy this experimenting. It’s a safe, reasonable thing to try on, unlike some of the possible identities you may try out as a teenager. A new name inspired by one of children’s literature’s most human, relatable heroines? No, I don’t mind that at all. But to tell the truth, during age seven you started turning into Meg before you’d ever read that book.

When we were young
Oh oh, we did enough
When it got cold
Ooh ooh, we bundled up
I can’t be told
Ah ah it can’t be done

I think it started with your haircut.

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“A woman who cuts her hair is planning changes in her life,” according to Coco Chanel. Halfway through seven, you changed your life. You don’t go to the kid hairdresser anymore. You go to the stylist. Your just-past-the-shoulders blonde hair with the average cut has been chopped and rearranged into what you refer to as your “favorite look.” People stop you in the mall to compliment your hair; grown women with fashion sense that intimidates me hold you up to tell you how fabulously you carry yourself.

But it’s not only the haircut. I think the reason they stop you is because you so obviously don’t care about having anyone’s approval. Seven was a somewhat trying year. You grew in such incredible ways–your first horseback riding lessons, your first year at a true homeschool co-op, your first year as an American Girl Scout. Your first year as an American, with all the privileges and pains that come with that.

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It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference
So pay attention now
I’m standing on your porch screaming out
And I won’t leave until you come downstairs

I can’t remember where I read it, but I remember nodding along to a blog post describing seven-year-olds. Just on the cusp of being a big kid, about to make that major cognitive and physical developmental leap, and…having nothing left over for anything else. Clumsy body; heightened emotions. Seven could be rough and it was compounded by the stress of our move. Re-entry to East Coast American life in 2016 after eight years in Hawaii and England has been…well. That’s another post. But it has not been easy for any of us, and I think in some ways you struggled the most. We got you help; we got help for all of us. We got through.

So keep your head up, keep your love
Keep your head up, my love

I am so proud of how you came through. So deeply proud. Your stubborn persistence, your hard-fought confidence.

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Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, keep your love

You make your teachers at co-op laugh. You make the adults around you laugh. You converse with your own spin on things, always insightful and always surprising me. Unprompted, you told a docent at Susan B. Anthony’s house in Rochester, NY that you were a warrior for justice. You find heart and bravery in depths I didn’t know existed within you. You turn heads. Whatever it takes to draw people in with your eyes, you have it.

And I don’t blame ya dear
For running like you did, all these years
I would do the same, your best believe

I know that things are harder for you than they are for other kids. I can’t pretend that I understand you the way you come into your confidence, or the way that you seek your answers. I’m learning about you right alongside you as you learn about yourself, with all the friction that comes with it. But even when we clash, I am forever on your side, forever fighting for you.

And the highway signs say we’re close
But I don’t read those things anymore
I never trusted my own eyes

And eight…oh, eight. You have truly come through on the other side. Every day I see how you are blooming, and you are breathtaking. Nothing is cheap or given away with you. You mean every word you say, be it searingly honest or transcendently beautiful.

When we were young
Oh oh, we did enough
When it got cold,
Ooh ooh we bundled up
I can’t be told,
Ah ah, it can’t be done

So that’s why today, at the doctor’s office, you shattered my heart in the best possible way. Moira had to get a shot and she was scared. I was discussing something with the doctor and heard you say to her “It’s ok. I’m going to be right here the whole time. Sisters forever.” You took her hand, and you held it. You held all of us in that room. And I knew that come what may, you will be able to stand tall.

Keep your head up, keep your love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, keep your love
Head up, love17389233_10101645036310915_842325496253853131_o
Keep your head up, love. Happy eight.

 

I love you,

Mom

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