Friday, January 11, 2013

split ends.

lizzy is a memory. a childhood playmate.

i go searching in my mind and i see flashes of her. blanket forts in her fancy dining room. a framed picture of her in a beautiful, yellow ballet costume. porcelain keepsakes behind glass and her voice, "this is the one i got when i turned six. and this on my seventh birthday."  
i see her room. pink and perfect. a little girl's dream with so many fine toys.

once we melted a chocolate orange in our palms in front of her heater. once we were convinced we saw a monster in her basement. once she stapled herself in the stomach with a staple gun to be funny. we spied on her older brother from his closet. we laughed a lot.
we also fought a lot. nearly every day we stormed off vowing to never play again. then the next morning we'd start over.

lizzy's mom curled her bangs every morning. lizzy wore only the sweetest clothes. lizzy's mom would make me shower before i was allowed to sleep over.
lizzy told me she hated ballet but she was forced to go. i think lizzy was a caged, wild animal. passionate, adventurous, dangerous, and very stifled.

i ran wild most of the times. my parents were careful for my safety but put a great deal of trust in me, and very few social restrictions. i remember tar-black feet and scraggly hair. i remember that baths were mostly for fun and a little bit for being clean. i remember a house full of wild things. decorated in scribbles, traps, gadgets, toys, and scraps of nature.
one day i was playing at lizzy's. my hair was growing long then, and lizzy wanted hers to be long, too. she said, "i want it to grow out, but my mom keeps cutting it off. she says i need to trim it while it grows."

"i don't trim mine, but it grows" i said.

lizzy pulled me up the stairs, across the the stark kitchen to her mom. "mom, i don't want to trim my hair any more."

"you need to trim it if you want it to be healthy-looking" she stated.

"megan doesn't trim hers!" lizzy complained, gesturing to me.

"exactly." her mom turned away.
what did she mean? and i thought and thought about it. 

that was the first time i realized that there was a whole set of expectations that i wasn't living up to. that was, i think, the beginning of self-consciousness in me. 

i think that i decided that i never wanted anyone to say anything like that to or about my children, ever. i think i decided that my parents were wrong for letting me be so free, even if i was happy. ignorance was truly bliss.
i know a little of the now lizzy. she is a beautiful, soulful dancer, but i think she is lost. i think she fought her way out of her cage and having never quite learned how to harness the passion, the thirst for adventure, the danger inside her. oh, i love her.

so which mother am i?
what do i really want for these babies of mine?

my respect for my parents grows daily. i thought they were neglecting me when they let me quit ballet when i got bored, or let me wear whatever i wanted even when i looked ridiculous, but they were choosing to let me find myself. and i love that. i want that.

and also, i like things tidy and pretty and clean.

so Father, help me find balance.

1 comment:

Crystal Stowell said...

I really like that you always include a good amount of pictures with your posts :) And your pictures are great!
I had a friendship just like this when I was young. Like you, I grew up wild and free. My parents let us be ourselves and never put restrictions on us (as far as personal style, hair decisions, hobbies, etc). I'm really grateful I got to grow up the way I did :) I like this post!