Saturday, January 24, 2009

Child of Mine

My daughter and I went shopping today. I love these mother-daughter excursions. It is fascinating to see my girl who could never match pieces of clothing as a child, develop her sense of style. When she was little, all that mattered was how a material felt, that it was soft against her fingers. Polka dots with plaids, orange with purple, there was no sense that a match even needed to be considered. Later, when her classmates started experimenting with tween fashion, she would occasionally dip a toe into those waters. We knew this because she'd come out of her room in the morning and ask her brother (whose sense of style is inborn), "Does this match?" Usually, it didn't. If he sent her back to the drawing board too many times, she'd just forget the whole thing and wear whatever the heck was closest.

Imagine my amusement now that she is in high school, noting what her classmates are wearing, then trying to make the different looks her own. Turns out she has a real eye for artistic pieces, yet even now, nothing scratchy or stiff or bunchy. It still has to be soft against her skin.

She is so forgiving, this child. She forgives her mother's rants and foibles. My son has a gift for making friends. My daughter has a gift for making people feel chosen and loved. When she was 8 or 9, she made me a Valentine's Day card. On the outside she wrote: "Mom, you were a hard mom to get before I was born, but God let me have you!" Inside, it said, "It's true. That's why you'll always be in my heart." Beneath the words was a red-crayoned cut-out heart she had made; she had pasted it in so that when you open to card, it pops up.

I still have that card in the drawer next to where I lay my head at night. I will keep it always.

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