Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday 55 & Da Count-Calypso

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.


James Goodman said...

OHHHH! Marvelous imagery, Lime. Nicely done.

Sheri said...

You've described your daughter so well.... I feel I know her! She sounds like a beautiful, charming and well rounded young lady.

Jodes said...

she is beautiful, and the name is fitting.

Anonymous said...

More than 1 wonderful and gifted daughter! How cool for you! I hope you enjoy every day with them!

barefoot_mistress said...

At first I thought that picture was you!
I love your 55, it's beautiful, and so is Calypso with her beautiful brown hair!

Anonymous said...

That was a great post about Calypso.

ttfootball said...

Lime it sound like she need a trip to Trinidad hehe
seriously..I think life is SO different for adolescents here...

Anonymous said...

With YOU as a Mom, she'll be just fine..
A prodigy!
We shall call her 'Mini Mozart"..

Logophile said...

You have a wonderful way with words, ya know that?
And your love shines in the ones you've used here.
She'll be amazing, she is amazing.
and so are you.

Chickadee said...

What a wonderful tribute. It sounds like you are a supportive, open-minded mother. Help may come to Calypso in ways you don't expect

It's amazing the way she can pick up and play an instrument...I wonder if she will be the same way with foreign languages.

snavy said...

She is beautiful inside and out!! WHAT A TREASURE!!

We are having some issues of concern here too. (well, i am - seems mr. s is not liking this aspect of parenting)

jillie said...

What an amazing daughter you have and proud you should be and I can tell you are. I have always been envious of people that have been blessed with the gift of music. My sister and niece are piano genius's (sp?). I can barely tap out chop sticks. Even her name is musical...I love it!
Happy Friday to you ;o)

lecram sinun said...

I so love these counts on the limettes! They offer great insight that only a mother can have. Cheers!

Seamus said...

I just loved this post! Wonderful portrait of tempestuous youth. Good news is it's cyclic!

Anonymous said...

I remember being 13.

I sometimes wish I could forget. ;)


Breazy said...

awwww Lime that is so sweet . We are seeing some of the same worrisome behavior with our 14 yr old so if you ever want to get together and talk about it , I am all for it . You never know , we may be able to help each other . Right now we are experiencing our daughters first broken heart and man is it killing me to watch her hurt and not be able to kiss the pain away like I use to do . You have a good day !

Anonymous said...

Great one Michelle. My one's up oh Great New Mistress of the 55.

Tommy said...

What a great post, a great count and a great tribute to one of the loves of your life. Lime, this too shall pass. Thirteen is tough even for the most got-it-together kids. Beautiful post from a beautiful mom.

Anonymous said...

Thirteen... I still remember how difficult life seemed to be then. I am sure she will be ok eventually and laugh about it when she is a little older.

I love learning about your children and how much you love them. It's quite amazing how much one can love a child, isn't it?

PS: I am up as well.

Gary said...

I think you are doing a fine job with your girls. And I applaud thatyou're catering to her vegetarianism.

By the way, I love tye-die and batik.

Anonymous said...

a beautiful post about a beautiful daughter.
You are blessed.

airplanejayne said...

Awesome tribute to an awesome and lovely middle child.

From another middle child,


KFarmer said...

13 is such a hard time and can be very complicated. I'm so glad you're home for your sweetie. Kids need their parents at that age as much as they do when they are little. A beatiful post from the Lime with the most- :)

K (aka mid/child)

Blither said...

You have lucky lil Limette's to have such a wonderful Mommie! Wow Look at the younger you!! My Oh My!!! Wow!!! Great writing Ms Limey!

Anonymous said...

looks like you got a little piece of Hollywood right there in PA Lime...!!!
hahaha...a very touching tribute babe...!!!

my daughter moved in with her bf this week...i feel so old...try to treasure them while they're still with you (i know that's almost impossible sometimes), no matter what the scenario...!!! xxx

Fred said...

Nicely done, Lime. This gives me a great post idea for sometime in the future. I've profiled D1 on her first date, but I haven't said much about D2 and D3. I need to correct that oversight.

With your guidance, I'm sure Calypso will find her way back to the path that has served her so well.