My youngest daughter became very angry at me last spring when I suggested we take down our swing set. We don't have a huge yard and it takes up a nice sized chunk of it and Tom hates mowing around it. I was ready to see it go. She was not. She loves swinging and still swings quite often. I actually do love reading on the deck to the steady squeak of the swing set. No rush to grow up, Liv. Swing on!
And boy, does she.
Yesterday we met friends for coffee at Barnes and Noble. When it was time to go, it was no small feat gathering everyone together. My friend and I had found our younger daughters but were still in search of our elder daughters. We asked the younger if they'd seen them. Liv responded, "Well I was with Lea and I gave her a playful little push..." at this, my friend and I sort of - well, in retrospect I guess we did sort of laugh at her.
"That cannot have ended well..."
We looked behind us and Liv was not keeping up. She had stopped in her tracks. Her face had gone full red and her left eye was twitching a little bit. "I SAID," she said, clearly working very hard to maintain reasonable modulation, "I was being PLAYFUL." Child was seriously angry at - us? her sister? the world?
Not ten minutes later, she informs me we've run dangerously low on feminine products. OH! Ok. She wasn't angry at us, or her sister, or the world. She was angry at Mother Nature. That made sense. Mother Nature can be a real bitch. (just ask Kathy B.)
So off we go to Walgreen's, where we face the huge aisle of monthly decisions. The Theme From A Summer Place was playing on the Muzak - or whatever we're supposed to call it these days. We agreed that it was a pretty song. Then Liv, my angry little Liv who, not an hour earlier had only just managed to suppress steam from coming out of her ears, burst into dance in the feminine product aisle at Walgreen's. It was a very expressive, arms out, leaping sort of dance. She did not hold back. Still dancing, and going into a little twirl, she said, "I feel like I want to be barefoot wearing a Sleeping Beauty gown and dancing in a meadow with a boy dressed up like a prince." There's a child firmly grounded in reality. She's not waiting for a prince. Just someone who dresses up like one. And what is it about feminine products and meadows, anyway?
I've told you about the paradox that is Liv, before. I've told you that she is a gentle vegetarian, tree-hugging speed-metal drummer. Ask anyone who was in Walgreen's yesterday afternoon and they might tell you, based on appearance only, about a skate punk ballerina.
I don't think we'll be getting rid of the swing anytime soon.