Life with Blondie is definitely picking up the pace. It’s moving so fast I’m scared if I blink I will miss something majorly important! We are preparing to embark upon the SENIOR YEAR! I’m not ready for this, and yet, she’s so ready for this!
Remember the binder? The one she spent a good thirty hours on at the end of Spring-break, the one she was making for Officer Try-outs? Well, it turned out that all her hard work paid off. Not only did I hear that it was one of the best binders completed in years, but she made officer! Not just officer, but head officer, SOOO Blondie will spend her Senior year as the Major of the Golden Girls Drill Team! The try-outs were on a Friday night, and the results were supposed to be posted at 10pm. Just as she was headed to go look at the list, someone called her and told her the news. I kid you not, she jumped for joy a mile high like one of those people who finally got their check from Ed McMahon!
After a week of sitting in a dance studio with her every night, counting 8 counts over and over, helping her learn choreography, and watching her dance until her body was completely worn out, collapsing to the polished wood floor, I got to witness the screaming smile that made every moment worth it!
I’m beyond proud of her. I keep asking myself: “Is this the same girl who couldn’t remember to smile and do a high kick?” (Her freshman year, she could do one, or the other, but rarely both together!) Now she’s gonna prance on that football field, dance her booty off, while they announce her name every week as the leader of the pack! For a Texas girl, it’s quite the achievement to become such an important part of those Friday night lights! It gives me chills. Not just because she’s my daughter, not just because I watched her set a goal and accomplish it, but because she almost gave it up. For me.
By the end of the school year, Golden Girls is an expensive endeavor. Not counting trips, I guess we spend about a thousand dollars a year on just costumes and camp fees. Then there are the extras, like secret sister gifts and all that jazz. I am happy to pay for it, but it’s not always been easy. Two years ago, the first time the kids came to live with us, it was a major financial set back. Especially for a family that was already at the lower end of the middle class. Or maybe we’re at the upper end of the lower class, I’m not really sure where the breakdown is, but I know this, we’re one of those families that stocks up on ramen noodles, and sometimes, we have no choice but to eat them!
Blondie tried to pretend she no longer cared about Golden Girls, that it was taking up too much of her personal time, but deep inside, I knew it was the money that had her scared. She felt selfish to allow us to fork out those dollars when so much was happening in our house.
Suddenly we had 4 more kids, they were all in diapers, we had to make our garage into bedrooms to satisfy space requirements set forth by the state, and we weren’t getting near enough help. There were nights when I wondered just how many dinners I could make out of rice and hamburger meat. There were nights when I wondered how I could get hamburger meat.
Always, our blessings have come. Not always when I wanted them, and never on the scale I imagined them, but they have always come. A box of laundry soap and a bag of oranges on the front porch, a friend who stays to help put kids to bed, a family member that mails a check because it was in her heart to help us, the blessings never fail.
For Blondie, it’s not always easy to trust in the blessings. She has gone through some tough times in her days, but that’s a story for later. Today, I just want to focus on how deeply kind-hearted my Blondie can be. She was willing to pretend she didn’t love to dance, that she hadn’t bonded to her team, that it would be easier to quit, all so we wouldn’t be worried about how to pay for it!
So I did what any good mother does, and I told her “you better dance, I got this, we’ve got plenty of money!” I did my best to hide any evidence of juggling expenses because I’d die inside if she gave up dancing over a few dollars. So far, we’ve never gone hungry and the lights are still on, so I have faith in the blessings! And I have faith in her.
She’s going somewhere in this world, I just know it. When she opens her mouth and a song pours out, it breaks my heart over and over with the sheer loveliness of her voice with its deeply soulful sound. No YouTube video can really do it justice. She writes beautiful songs that tell her story in a way that makes me so proud of the person she is. Yep, she’s amazing! I know, she’s not perfect: her room gets messy, she misses curfew at times, her jokes are forever inappropriate, she forgets to give her dog a bath, and she farts on road trips, but she would give up her dreams and pretend she never had them if she thought I would go to sleep with less to worry about.
Which means, I would go to the ends of the earth just to be the one who worries about them! I will be at every one of those football games next year, with my T-shirt that says I’m Blondie’s Mom, and those little babies she was so worried about will be sitting right beside me, cheering for their big sister. They may have gotten her by a series of unfortunate events, but those events have ended up blessing us in ways we still haven’t counted yet!
And Blondie, she has blessed me from the moment I laid eyes upon her. Now she’s trading in her pigtails for Prom Dresses and a Senior Ring. But no matter how grown up she thinks she is, she’s still Blondie. My sister told her this joke.
Two blondes were driving along a road by a wheat field when they saw a blonde in the middle of the field rowing a row boat.
The driver blonde turned to her friend and said “You know – it’s blondes like her that give us a bad name!”
To this, the other blonde replies “I know it, and if I knew how to swim, I’d go out there and drown her.”
To which my Blondie replied:“I wouldn’t drown her! I’d help her row the boat to shore…”
My sister and I have joined Blondie in commemorating life with a song! It goes something like this:
Row row row your boat gently through the field,
Throw Blondie over board and see if she can swim!