She is dressing to take the garbage out. Jean’s miniskirt. Black leggings with lace at the bottom. A stained white t-shirt. A silver lame belt. And now, the jacket, because it is breezy outside, a day Pooh would call “blowie.” The jacket is a little white hoodie, and I mean little. Her father tells her not to wear it. “It’s too small.” He’s right. He is also wrong. It is uncomfortable, I’m sure, like the silver screw-in earrings she’s putting on now, her legacy from her grandmother’s jewlery box. But it (her little hoodie) looks like what she sees the fashionable girls wear–short and tight. And she looks at herself in the mirror with a smile of satisfaction. This is exactly how I wish to look, I think she is saying to herself.
Earlier, over English muffins (hers slathered with blackberry jelly, mine with butter alternative) and orange juice, she asks “what would you say if I told you I had a boyfriend?”
“Does he know you have jelly lips?” I ask.
“Maaa-ahm!” she gushes with a smile. “I don’t have one yet.”
She is nine. And she’s taking out the garbage. And my heart.