Petite reflection of my younger self twirls to the music only she can hear, sings the song from her own soul, invites the wallflower to dance with her, bestows her smile like the sun when clouds part. Forget your sadness. Join the dance. When her own steps falter sing her sweet song back to her.
Calypso is my second Limelette. She's the middle child, the brunette sister of a red-head, younger sister of the more than slightly dominant Diana. When she was about 3 and so shy I had a permanent imprint of her face on the front of my thigh things began to change. For the billionth time in her life she heard someone say to Diana, 'Oh what beautiful red hair you have!' Calypso marched up to the woman, stood with hands on hips, looked up boldly and demanded, 'And what do you think of my beautiful BROWN hair!' I was astonished since it was completely out of character for her but I was also impressed.
When she went to school I would hear from teachers how she displayed leadership among her classmates but not in the dictatorial style Diana favored. Calypso, a leader? Really? Wow! Great! She also went out of her way to be kind and helpful to the kids who most seemed to need it, the special ed students in her class and the ones who obviously had unhappy home lives. That part didn't surprise me.
Diana and I are sort of 'plain Janes.' No make-up for us, no flashy clothes. Ok ok, I wear weird tie-dyes and batiks, but it's not glitzy. Calypso has ALWAYS been a fashion plate who knows the trends. She fixes her sister and me when we are in the most desperate need. She's also the one who sneaks make-up....grrrrr.
She has a musical gift that blows my mind. She has played violin, piano, clarinet, and oboe. She can pretty much hear a thing a couple of times and play it back. Her ear is amazing, every teacher she has had is amazed by it. When we went to visit my mother, who plays the harp, Calypso sat down to the harp and started playing from the sheet music my mom had there. Apparently Mom had explained how the notes were arranged and what the basic hand position was and voila.
She's the one who last week declared herself a vegetarian among a family of hunters...during buck season...because killing animals is wrong. We are accomodating each other. It's made my job of preparing and cooking my my carnivore husband and my herbivore daughter more complicated but I respect that she wants to make this choice. Even if it turns out to only be teenage 'rebellion' this is a physically healthy form so who can argue with that?
She needed a haircut a couple of weeks ago and wanted a big change. I made some suggestions and got the typical adolescent blase reserve. The hairdresser measured her hair and told her if she was willing to go short she'd have enough to donate to 'Locks of Love' to make wigs for kids who have lost their hair to cancer or other chronic problems. She gave a 'Whatever' sort of response. The hairdresser made the necessary ponytails (yes, plural) and cut them off exclaiming, 'Wow! You've got enough for 3 wigs here!' Another shrug from Calypso. Then I just looked her in the eye and said, 'Kiddo, you just made three sick, bald girls smile. I'm proud of you.' Finally, I saw the old light flicker in her eyes, the light she always used to get when she helped a classmate.
She's 13 now, which is a somewhat difficult age. And she's developed a strong drama queen streak, which is a concern. She feels like she has to demand attention in not so nice ways right now and there have been occurences I won't share here that worry us. She has all the normal 13 year old worries about being accepted and in some ways, because she's always been very sensitive to the emotional state and caprices of those around her I think she feels it more deeply than many.
So for this week I want to count the gifts that make Calypso truly shine and the gentle assertiveness that has served her well in the past... and hope she finds her way back there soon. She's got so much to offer.