Little Girls

I grew up with four brothers and never once did I ever wish for a sister. Not once. I had lots of guy friends growing up (still do) and was never interested in the drama that girls seemed to need. When my friends started getting married, the thought of their real or imagined toddler girl children terrified me.

It was of course divine retribution that I am now the mother to the girl I was always terrified of. Not that I don’t love her beyond all reason—I do. And not that we don’t have a terrific time together most of the time—we do. But there are days, man, when I could hand her off to passing gypsies and wave gleefully goodbye.

This past Sunday was one of those days. She spun herself into such a little ball of resentment—over what appeared to me to be nothing– that I wondered if she would ever get straight again. Somewhere in the middle of the sturm and drang she asked me what I was so “pissed off” about. Well, that right there for one thing! And wait. What? Me? I was pissed off??

My father, who was sitting on the porch with me, had to get up and go inside. It’s a sign of his mellowing, as not that long ago he would not have been able to hold his tongue (much, much longer ago he would not have been able to hold the back of his hand.) After she had finally stomped away down the driveway, when the coast was clear, he came back out. We shook our heads, laughed a little and enjoyed the quiet. When she came home, it was as if nothing had ever happened. And I guess nothing really had.

 

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