Lu in Leggings
When I was a young girl, not much older than you are now, I used to peek out through a crack in my curtains waiting for a neighbor to wander by. When I did spy a movement I used to hurl myself against the window, furiously shaking the curtains until I slumped onto the floor. Then I would rise and do it again.
My life felt very boring to me. I lived in a typical household with nice parents and occasionally nice sisters. We ate dinner together as a family and trudged through knee high snow each year to attend each others’ Christmas pageants. We didn’t yell much. We truly loved each other. It was so perfectly uneventful.
So I launched myself into solitary fights in my room when I thought the neighbors were watching. I threw punches into the air and leaped from my bed and most importantly I collided against the window where I hoped they could see me.
At the time, it didn’t sound nearly as horrendous as it does now. I had no idea that there were children who were actually thrown against windows. Or houses where yelling was the normal way to communicate and nobody would dare set foot in snow for their family members. All I knew is that I wanted someone to look toward my window and wonder what was happening inside that shaded room. I wanted a good story.
I recognized the need for a good story within you at a very young age. When you got very sad because you wanted to visit the jungle to see baby wolves swimming in the ocean most people laughed. I commiserated. I want to see that too. When you told me you would always run from zombies unless they sent you a nice text message asking to move in together, I thought it sounded pretty reasonable. So tonight, as I sit here thinking about how tomorrow my baby girl turns five years old and starts Kindergarten, I’ll share one story I think you might someday like. (After your dating years are over).
There once was a little girl who cared so much about clothing that she used to drive all the adults in her life bonkers. She was a brilliant, beautiful, and hilarious girl who could have been spending her time doing almost anything but what she really wanted to do was wear leggings. Lots and lots of leggings. And always with cowboy boots. She looked a little bit like this.
This little girl loved her leggings so much that she used to scream and cry every morning that she didn’t get to wear them. Or even when she did get to wear them if they wouldn’t tuck into her boots just right. Or even if she got to wear them and they tucked into her boots just right but they weren’t the right color. She spent a lot of mornings on the floor, just like this, dealing with legging drama.
She loved skirts just as much as leggings, but her mean mother made her wear shorts or tights under her skirts which made her lay and scream on the floor even more often (both the mother and the girl).
When the little girl was about 31/2 years old she started having accidents at school, for weeks at a time. She had been potty trained for over a year and all of her family was very concerned. Day after day her mom would pick her up at daycare to find her in unrecognizable clothes and teachers would hand her a plastic grocery bag weighted down with urine clad outfits. The mom grew so concerned that she took her to the doctor thinking she had a bladder infection. Not the case. Teachers grew worried. Friends started to tease. The mother felt guilty but she was growing angry. Every morning they fought over clothes only to have them soaked in pee later on. The mother wasn’t good at laundry to start with so extra loads were really testing her limit.
Finally on the last day of the week the little girl didn’t have an accident. The mother was so relieved when she walked into that classroom and saw her sweet, cupcake scented daughter still wearing her practical and age appropriate clothes, she heaved a giant laundry free sigh of relief. She looked at her daughter and asked her what she thought was different about this day from the other days during the week. The little girl, who always spoke in a voice sweeter than nectar, replied with “you didn’t bring the pink skirt back to the the lost and found.” The pink skirt was the only thing in the lost and found that fit the small girl, and she had been put in it on the first day when she had an accident and then each night after her mom washed it and returned it, she would be placed in it again when her own clothes were too wet to wear. For weeks, the young girl purposely peed her pants to get to wear a pink skirt. An unfounded and unprecedented dedication to clothing.
The story, while funny and true, says so much more about the Lulu that I know than just an irrational passion for clothing. It goes so much further than just having a quest for a good story. It speaks to your fierceness and determination. I watched you eat wood chips for 11 meals after I told you that you weren’t tall enough to reach the spinning bars at the park. 11 times you fell and on the 12th you got it. It speaks to your cleverness and creative thinking. Not only do you search for good stories but you are full of them yourself. It speaks to your consistency and dedication. Who else would remember to pee their pants every day? And it speaks to my inability to do laundry. Only this time it paid off. Thanks goodness that pink skirt never made it’s way back to the lost and found.
As you embark on a whole new journey that starts tomorrow I know you will be full of stories to share. You will struggle, and excel. You will eat bark and you will spin on the bars despite what people tell you. You will find your own windows to hurl yourself at and you will catch the attention of everyone worthy of it, because you are what every good story is made of. Happy birthday my love.