Suburban Snapshots

Fell in Love with a Girl

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I haven't written specifically about Anna lately mostly because she's been super awesome and I didn't want to be the mom who's like, "Oh my GAWD you guys, everything my kid does lately is the best thing EVAR!"

She's in ballet now, and my previous gender-neutral, zero-princess-tolerance self cannot even stand how sweet she looks in the pale pink leotard and tights, tall with thin arms and legs, no question that she's her father's daughter. She's still clumsy but eager to perform her improvised spins and leaps for the teachers, crash landing while the rest of the class practices pliƩ-and-stretch.

She actually eats things — whole things — though some days those whole things might be whole bags of Pirate's Booty. She's found my sucker button, the one she's pushing when trying to stay up later than normal and she says to me, "Mama, I really missed you while you were away on that trip." She drops her head and looks at me out the very top of her eyes, lips in a perfect frown, buying herself ten more minutes on the couch.

Over the summer when she sat rapt through a two-plus hour local production of The Wizard of Oz, she also started paying attention through entire movies. Now I'll overhear her singing songs from Tangled, from school, from the radio, and I realize that she's picking up a lot more than either of us thought.

And she's funny as hell. Not just when she's being overly dramatic because I won't let her wear her ballet slippers outside, or when she's dancing like a tranq-darted wallaby, but on purpose. She writes her own material, "Mom, have you ever heard of a TOASTER crossing the road?" There's no punchline, but she laughs so hard I can count her teeth. When she tells these with friends it starts a chain of bad-joke telling and hysterics. I've witnessed it, and it makes me proud.

Three started off a little rough, but heading into four she's pretty much everything I imagined any daughter of mine would be. I still see each of us in her, but so much of what I glimpse is her own little self; her klutzy, joyous, beautiful little self.

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