Lovey turns 13 today.
For those of you who don’t know who Lovey is, shame on you.
You clearly have not been paying enough attention to me or going over the details of my life with the fine tooth comb I provided in the form of a blog.
Fine. Let’s review:
Who is Lovey?
Is she a demonic angel sent to me by The Universe or God or that joker, Loki?
Yes. She is.
And why was she sent to me?
To upset the balance?
To restore my faith in family?
Because there was a missing piece in my puzzle?
Because I had some extra love that I didn’t know where to put?
And she was the perfect love-sized container?
Good. Now please, try to keep up.
Because as of today, Lovey’s purpose in my life becomes two-fold.
Or four-fold, if you believe in that kind of thing.
The point is,
Lovey turns 13 today.
Having known her since she was five, I can say with a certain amount of confidence that Lovey hasn’t changed that much over time.
Sure, each year she stretches a few inches physically, mentally, emotionally.
But mostly she just becomes MORE Lovey.
As if the chart of her growth were already mapped out and I kind of knew where we were heading together, and I’m happy to report that yes, we are pretty much on course.
Well, she’s definitely on course.
And I mostly am, too.
I’ve just fallen a bit behind.
Here’s the skinny:
This summer I did a fair amount of travel with Lovey and my son.
It was in those spaces away from home that certain aspects of Lovey became more pronounced to me. Maybe at home, we unconsciously fit into the outlines of ourselves etched on the walls. Take us out of the outline, and whole other shapes emerge.
We all knew I was having a hard time car-camping with the neighbors when I got into trouble with the other other moms for being too wild.
Okay, actually, no, not all of us knew that. Lovey knew, and I knew, but my son had no idea.
So when I yelled at him for no reason, he ran off.
And luckily, Lovey swept in.
“That was way too harsh,” she said. “There’s no way he was expecting that. It’s not his fault that grown-ups make you uncomfortable.”
I stopped, stared at Lovey.
It might be called gaping, actually.
“Give me the water bottle,” she instructed. “I’ll fill it at the pump. Go apologize to him and let’s get out of here.”
I did as I was told.
The girl was all kinds of right.
The Grand Hotel had a salt water spa pool with multi-colored lights that made a kaleidoscope of the water. Beautiful.
But it was crowded, and I somehow found myself sharing it with what seemed an entire high school of kids.
I didn’t wave to Lovey and my son when they came out, figuring it would be embarrassing for them to be with their mom.
So what does Lovey do?
Scouts me out and struts right up to the spa with a bony arm on her hip in this Mae West kind of way. Sashays down the steps and into the water while making vampire teeth. Submerges entirely for a few seconds, then surfaces right in front of me. Flips her hair on top of her head in that silly swimming pool/George Washington style, and plants a big wet kiss right on my cheek.
All of the older kids left. I think they were intimidated by her.
We had the entire pool to ourselves.
She’s a force. I’m not kidding.
The weekend before Lovey left the three of us four-wheeled to a remote location on the lake. It was stormy when we arrived and the waves were slapping up against the shore with a robust force, but the summer water was warm, so we waded in anyway.
I had a grand old time of pushing the kids at just the right moment and watching them lose their balance and fall.
(We’re a bit rough-and-tumble, so that’s not as weird as it might sound.)
But after a few falls, Lovey must have had enough. Because she suddenly came at me all elbows and speed and equality.
And I was seriously afraid.
I turned and ran along the shoreline as fast as I could.
“Stop! I don’t want to play! I don’t want to play!” I screamed.
Lovey completely disobeyed.
And when she caught me, I went down. Hard.
Lovey left about a month ago, because she has another mother, too. A real one.
“99 percent I’ll be back for Christmas,” she texted from the plane.
“Oh thank goodness,” I texted back. “Now just don’t grow up and hate me between now and then.”
I reread what I’d written.
And it hit me.
I am threatened of Lovey becoming a woman.
Because she is going to be twice the woman I am.
(That’s just an eyeball figure.)
I have no intention of going to battle with her; there’s no chance in hell I would win. That girl is a ridiculous combination of every key to survival ever needed.
I’m not saying I’m altogether ready to hand over my crown just yet. Generally speaking, I’ve still got more ability to provide a foundation than she does.
But the point is, that girl’s reign is going to seriously rival mine.
Lovey turns 13 today.
So look out, World. I’ve named my successor.
* * *
5 thoughts on “lovey, the teen-aged queen”
“. . .that grown ups make you uncomfortable.” That’s a point I would argue except that I have to concede that Lovey knows you better than I. But the concept makes me wonder if on some level you’re afraid that when these kiddos become grown ups that you won’t be comfortable with them anymore.
no, you are right. i do pretty well with grown-ups anymore. because i am one. it was just that particular trip. the moms were all ten years older and when they expressed their disapproval i reverted, somehow. lost my sense of things.
i was definitely working with some fear this summer, wondering if the kids will have trouble forgiving me my flaws now that they’re getting older and seeing me differently. (it makes me see myself differently, i think.)
but at the same time, their goodness and strength inspires me. every single day i think about how lucky i am to have them in my life.
i really appreciate your honesty with me. and your staying power. (and i’m not entirely sure that lovey knows me better than you do. she just knows me differently.)
I know moms like that. It’s an awful feeling. As for the forgiveness, it will come. Well, first tney’ll totally judge you and blame you for all the ways they are screwed up but then they’ll look around and see that everyone is screwed up but that they are less so than many and they have some GREAT memories.
I just hope my kids will judge me by my intentions rather than my actions.
Lovey must be a force. Your description of her grand entrance into the spa may very well be the longest paragraph you’ve ever written! 😉 Beautiful and insightful. As always.
the longest, and yet i know i didn’t capture it.
is there a lesson here?
(perhaps fewer words serve me better?)
how are you, my friend? i’m off to catch up with you on your page…