My daughter turned 6 today. In my head this is a milestone. She is extremely independent and I feel like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think back to 6 years ago tonight and remember the utter joy I had realizing that I had a daughter — someone to relate to, laugh with, cry with, shop with — just like in Terms of Endearment. Although a bit disfunctional (who isn’t?), a relationship that I would love to have with my daughter.
Teadora is fearless, open, a lover of everyone and everything. She is cool. This year she asked for a lizard for her birthday. Yuck. But I went ahead and approved the gift. We went to the local reptile store — a freakshow for sure and a hangout for many who are definitely on probation — nestled between a 7-11 and a pawn shop. You get the picture. My daughter forged through the tattooed, purple haired, pierced mob into the store. My son, looked at me and said “these people are freaks”. T didn’t notice and went straight into the store and began looking for bearded dragons — the birthday reptile.
First of all, animals with scales freak me out. Then, pair that with the toothless, tall and scary dude who was showing them to us and I was totally grossed out. Here’s what I love about youth and innocence — my daughter didn’t even notice. I find it so interesting that she didn’t judge his looks — and looked him straight in the eye when they were talking.
I have a lot to learn at 42. Sometimes when you see a person who “grosses you out” or makes you think certain judgmental thoughts — don’t you think how glad you are that you are not them? I know I do — I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. But my little girl sees the person behind the material stuff — she sees their heart — something we should all try to do more often. She may only be 6, but she’s years beyond me.
And Mary? That’s what she named her lizard.
Happy Birthday Teadora.