|Happy Burfday, Hals. You are my main teen bae. Wait. Is that redundant? I think that's redundant. Now, how do you get the "a" and the "e" to mush together again? Don't roll your eyes. I'm not THAT old.|
So, today is my primary child, Hallie's, thirteenth birthday. She is officially on her way to becoming an adult and I think THAT warrants a humiliating blog, don't you?
Okay, so I've been thinking a lot about what I want to reveal about Hallie, and really if I were to do a diagram of her, she is precisely in the middle of becoming and adult and leaving her childhood. Therefore, she vacillates between this considerate, pensive, mature, witty person and basically, well, THIS PERSON.
Hallie is Jimmy Fallon's character, SARAAAAAA! "Cause H's are EW! Therefore, we often call Hallie, ALLLAAAHHHH.
Hallie is a seventh grader and I feel like she navigates it's pitfalls with equal grace and clumsiness. She is just CONSTANTLY walking that tightrope of insecurity and confidence. I am continually fascinated with the inner struggle, and I try to just sit back and let her figure things out on her own because the biggest gift my parents gave to me were the tools to become INDEPENDENT. Now, my room was a complete mess, and I was WAY more immature and anxiety-ridden than Hallie will EVER be, but I was completely in control of my own thought processes. In essence, I was taught to think for myself, even if it was in direct opposition from my parents', or even society's point of view.
|School pic. We were going for a blond Arianna Grande, with braces, natch.|
I tend to get all melancholy when one of my children reaches a milestone, especially Hallie, because she is my first. If you think about it, you cut your teeth on your first child, for better or for worse, but I justify the bad because they also are the only sibling that knows what it's like to have the undivided attention of an only child.
I distinctly remember getting down on the floor with her everyday when she was like ONE and going over the value of coins, i.e. a quarter, dime and nickel and the like. I was all, "This is a quarter. It is worth twenty five cents. Now pick it out of this line of of coins. WHERE is the quarter? Pick out the quarter. Good girl! You are SOOOOO SMART." I would then show anyone that came over to the house how brilliant she was. On the flip side, Eva, my third, rarely got her diaper changed unless it fell off from the weight and the dog started feasting on it.
So Hallie is in middle school, which I liken to Alcatraz for children. Last winter she broke her wrist skiing over Christmas break and I accompanied her through the halls of her middle school and nearly escaped having a panic attack. You see, Hallie had been getting all of this attention on social media and through texts and shit when it got out that she had challenged a tree and LOST, big time. The SAME people who had expressed the shock and awe of the story, who had had a proliferation of condolences, looked STRAIGHT at her and then at her cast, as she navigated the crowd, and then looked away in sheer ambivalence.
Now, I did not expect the principal to make an announcement the moment we arrived, but I was COMPLETELY baffled by the social climate, and then I was immediately transported back to my OWN horrible middle school existence, and Hallie had become my portal.
Well, we made our way to the nurse's office and Hallie was all flustered and nervous about gym and how she was going to write with her right hand, and I took her aside, just as the nurse left the room and I whispered, "Now listen, THIS is your SAFE place. If you need a break and you wanna be alone, JUST COME HERE, and you'll be fine."
Well, her face instantly morphed into Brad's facial expression he commonly uses when he thinks I am bat shit crazy and she says exactly what he always says at times like this sans expletives, and that is, "What? What in the HELL are you TALKING about, woman?"
"Oh, nothing," I was transported back to the emotional present. "Now, you had better run along to gym and give your teacher the nurse's note. Call me if you need me." I nearly sprinted back to my car as my chest tightened in disgust.
You see, when I think about middle school, I literally can remember like TWO scenarios, but mostly it is just a FEELING that I get when I recall that three year period, and then that FEELING makes me want to have diarrhea.
So, then, here I am again, cutting my teeth with Hallie, and I will be totally desensitized by the time Eves enters the worm hole that is middle school.
ANYWAY, when I think of Hallie, and I have been thinking alot about her these last few days. I think I sort of view her with my Mom's eyes. You see, Hallie was named after my Mom's mom, who was very young (39) when she died, and my Mom was simply ecstatic about that. It didn't hurt that Hallie was super sweet and smart and caring, and looked good in all of the Janie and Jack clothes my Mom bought her.
|Such a great picture of a picture.|
Hallie was special to my Mom, also, because she was her first grandchild and my Mom was not ill for most of Hallie's life so she could really enjoy her. She thought Hallie "hung the Moon" and I agree. I feel my Mom all around me lately, and I know that she is just as proud of who Hallie has become so far, as I am.
I do not IDOLIZE Hallie, but I do RESPECT her and her opinions and I love the perspective she has on life. She is not as cynical as I am, but she still has the trademark acerbic wit, which is a refreshing take on our special brand of humor. I have an absolute ball with her most of the time, when she is not annoying her sisters at mealtime or obsessing over One Direction. Here's another hilarious SNL skit we are fond of. Loves me some Paul Rudd, y'all.
Hallie is also a writer. She has been writing stories since she was in preschool, I am not exaggerating. I saved all of them, Hal, but don't ask me where they are because I have NO idea where I put them. Hallie has actually been published, which is an accomplishment I may never achieve, and I fully intend to live out all of my "writer fantasies" vicariously through her, beginning by having a custom t-shirt that says, "Writer Mom".
|Sleepover birthday selfie. Clearly not the first one.|
|Get a load o' ol' CRAZY EYES.|
Hallie, I am sorry that you are always FIRST, but I feel like the privileges tend to outweigh the responsibilities. How many times have you heard THAT one? Don't answer that and go put your bands on or you'll be wearing those braces on your wedding day!
I love you so much! I just want all of your dreams to come true. Except that one about touring with One Direction through Europe next year. Have a Happy Happy Birthday, my love, and as a wise friend once told me (Hi, Kelly!), "You don't wanna PEAK in middle school. In fact, you don't wanna PEAK while you live in this Gawdforsaken town at all!" AMEN. #southernsoulsistasunite