My child at almostnine is probably cooler than, well, than I will ever be. If you ask those who have met her, they will tell you that I am a truth teller. I also have no idea where this child came from. I mean, I know that she came from ME (the entire North York General Hospital staff knew. For 25 hours) and looks eerily like my mother and, like I am, she is stubborn, and hotheaded, and hates math and loves the color blue. Like I am, she is fiercely independent and determined and just a wee bit of a perfectionist.
But at almostnine, I was nothing like Emily. I wore the clothing my mom bought for me to wear, which included things like Florence Eiseman dresses and clothing from Units (oh, like you never) and keds and giant bows. I played with cabbage patch kids and barbies and played Free to Be You and Me on the piano. I was so excited to own my very first cassette single – Glory of Love by Peter Cetera. I read The Babysitter’s Club books and dreamed of the day that I could be an actual babysitter. Boys were kind of gross and stinky back then.
When I was a kid, I was a kid. Emily is a kid, but she’s sooo not a kid. Kids do not say things like, “look at this parfait and tell me it doesn’t look delicious.” I have always just assumed that Emily is who she is because I was an infant when I had her and I won’t deny that the idea of having a Lorelai and Rory Gilmore relationship with my firstborn crossed my mind about 34 seconds after I heard her wailing and “it’s a girl!” She was my sidekick. So, maybe she likes to eat cookie dough because her mom ate it. Maybe she likes music so much because her mom spent a lot of time playing the radio instead of kids’ music. Maybe she wants to be famous because her mom had her modeling from the time she was 6 months old.
or maybe that’s just WHO SHE IS.
Earlier this week, Emily got to see the inside of a real live recording studio and she got to sing “A Little Help From My Friends” in a hot and cramped sound booth and got to hear her voice being mixed and recorded. She wasn’t awkward. She wasn’t nervous. She was happier than I’ve seen her in months.
Later this week, thanks to a call from her, Emily was asked to come and be in a photoshoot for a campaign being done to help young girls get excited about math and science. Emily was a bit skeptical of the subject matter because we know how she feels about math, but she was giddy with excitement about the shoot. She stood on the white backdrop and danced, smiled, twirled, posed, and goofed her little heart out to the Glee soundtrack while a photographer took 100 pictures. She wasn’t shy. She wasn’t awkward. She wasn’t nervous. She was happier than I’ve seen her in months.
She was home.