***Note: old post found in drafts folder.***
Middle daughter just turned 14 this week … was it this week? I went in to work on Saturday, very early while the house still slept, trying to pull together what I could before leaving for GA tomorrow. Middle daughter was at a “sleep-over” with friends. I won’t even go into the oxymoronic name of such gatherings.
When I pulled into the driveway about 3:00 that afternoon, I sat in my car and watched her dozing in her brand new hammock–the only thing (besides books) this kid really, REALLY wanted for her birthday. I didn’t think we were going to be able to pull it off, I mean, hammocks are expensive, aren’t they? At one point I joked with her father that we should just give her a macrame kit and tell her to make her own durn* hammock.
But there it was, at Target, a cloth hammock for under 40 bucks, which seemed a steal considering what we had seen elsewhere.
So I sat and watched her for a bit, waiting for her to hear the car and notice me, but she didn’t. She didn’t even wince when I closed the door of my van. Not a glimmer of a movement as I walked toward her. Ear buds in, she couldn’t hear me. Tired as she was from NOT sleeping over, she was in that place, she told me later, between being conscious and not.
Eldest daughter and I had been out the night before, a long-overdue mommy-daughter date, and during the evening the conversation turned to Middle Daughter in a way that was neither teasing nor mean-spirited as we agreed that she was just so fully herself, we can’t imagine her needing much protection from the rest of the world. I can’t remember my eldest daughter’s exact words, but she said something along the lines of Middle Daughter being “the most realistic person about reality.”
What was really cool for me was to hear eldest daughter admire her sister’s strengths in a way that was neither envious nor mocking. She was just being real about her sister’s reality.