Ah, irony. Once I had published Thing Two’s post, I realized that I would now have to think up a song for Thing One. Oh oh. I should have thought that song thing out better. What if I couldn’t think of one for Thing One? What if I was too lazy to think up one for Thing One, kind of like how I was too messed up with a four-year-old and a baby to make a proper baby book for Thing Two like the massive scrapbook I did for her sister, a fact she has never let me forget. (No matter, she has started filling in her own baby book with magic marker. If something needs doing, Thing Two does it).
But I digress. This is about Thing One, the first, the guinea pig, the one you supposedly get all this parenting experience with so the second one is easier. Hahahahaha. Yeah, you might as well adopt a daisy and then a rottweiler and expect the two to involve the same care. This is not to say I think my eldest is a plant and my youngest is a guard dog. It’s just a comparison. I can say when a baby and toddler my eldest stayed still like a daisy. She liked it in her little secure pot of dirt. And she was super quiet and cute, like a daisy. In fact, she didn’t really talk for three years, relying on the occasional scream or look of annoyance to get you to do her bidding. Everything good will eventually come to you, that was Thing One’s child model. There is no reason to go grab a gallon of milk and haul it across the room at two (hello Thing Two), magical mother or some big human will do that for you. Just wait. Also, diapers are awesome. Heck with that potty.
Now that I’ve surely embarrassed the poor – good gravy – 15-year-old – I will say that Thing One has changed. For one thing, no more diapers! Though she has entered puberty, which, she claims, is kinda like going back there, what with having to wear certain things for that one time of the month we will not discuss. Nor will be discuss anything else about puberty, because if you don’t think about it, chances are it might just go away. There is always hope.
But while she doesn’t like a lot of the physical changes that come with growing up, she is definitely growing up. That mind of hers, much like her sister’s, was always working. It’s just that we don’t always hear it all at once. She spends a lot of time in her own little world thinking. Maybe a little too much time thinking, as she’s told me it’s hard to shut off and go to sleep. Sorry kid, you came by it honestly. Yet she continues to amaze me with her insight, her empathy, and her sense of self. Both girls have more of that than I do now. She knows what she believes, and she goes through with it. When another kid was being picked on by a friend, she protested it. That took a lot of guts. She also told other kids in her class (we’re in Bible Belt Texas) that she’s a Democrat. That took guts too, and possibly a bit of masochism.
Both kids are into politics, and have been since they were very young. Part of this is because many parents around here have decided it’d be awesome to talk about the President of the United States in not-so-nice-and-respectful terms. Even though they surely didn’t know what Republican or Democrat really meant when little, they knew what MEAN meant, and they didn’t like it. Thing One asked me if what they said about Obama was true. So we looked some things up. And she bought a children’s biography of the President. And she not only read it, she schooled her classmates on it.
“NO HE WAS NOT BORN IN KENYA IT WAS HAWAII FOR THE LAST TIME!”
Alas, it does little good. But it doesn’t stop her from trying, or from being herself. Like Thing Two, she dresses the way she wants, and she wears her hair the way she wants (even when Mommy desperately wants to pull it back in a pretty clip). She isn’t a social butterfly like her sister, but she’s no recluse either. She can fit in when she wants to – it’s just that she often doesn’t really care about social graces. What she does care about is social justice. She wants peace, though she finds it a bit much that everyone in Star Trek really gets along so awesomely (I do too). She cares about the poor and disadvantaged, she believes in equality, in kindness, and while she is strong in her Christian faith, she does not just take it in blindly. She reads, she thinks, she discusses. And she applies, such as when her father said there was nothing wrong with being uber-rich.
“It’s easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into Heaven,” she told him while I secretly made a “YES” fist pump in the background.
And so this is why the song I chose for Thing One is “Rhythm Nation”, a Janet Jackson song that happens to also be one of her favorites. It’s a good choice, because who can forget that awesome music video with Janet getting down in that military-like dance? It’s still fun to watch today. And it’s wonderful to watch my Thing One grow up.
“With music by our side
To break the color lines
Let’s work together
To improve our way of life
Join voices in protest
To social injustice
A generation full of courage
Come forth with me”
I love you, Thing One.