my baby stood up for herself, and i got to watch. she held her ground. and then tried to bring others along. it was hard, she was strong. she gifted herself with a big step toward the adulting thing and gifted me with love and admiration. helping me look at her in a new way. my baby, able to take care of herself and say what’s what. my baby vacuumed in all her pain and grief, anxiety and depression, fear of using her voice. and she spit out a torrent of flowery kick ass. she knows i rarely use the word pride (fraught, like the word deserve), but today i felt some mutherfukin pride in my baby. my 15-year-and-362-day baby. our baby. but mine.
back to pride for a second. sure, pride bubbles up after completing an art piece, a particularly difficult task. seems wrong, though, to take pride in my kids’ accomplishments. their doing, their pushing and realizing and deciding and acting. who am i to feel pride when i didn’t do it myself? so yeah, it’s rare. my kids know this about me, discussed it many a time. and it sometimes frustrates them because other parents say it without my compunction. it’d be easy to say, yeah, pride, but truth contains more/different/subtlety. in these situations, i feel happy for them achieving their goal, satisfied in their making the best of something. always (almost always) give love and support freely. but today, pride pushed all the other shit out of the way. satch took a very distressing situation, confronted the perpetrator in a clear, purposeful, rational, heartfelt, strong voice. she stood up for herself and for others and the love, awe, admiration for who she has become flooded me. floored me. what an amazing person. and yes, i had something to do with this, and yes, i felt pride. rare and lovely. thank you satch.
also today, with my oldest baby, not pride, but balance and gratefulness. she’s experiencing one of those a-ha artistic periods, discovering, infatuation with photography! cool, huh? she loves developing film. loves enlarging and printing. becomes excited to see the final product. and this is just the beginning for her. how amazing is that? makes me want to jump up and down and throw glitter (if it weren’t so bad for the environment). and the fact that she’s riding it for all it’s worth, actually that does give me some pride. cause it’s been a long road getting her here and yes, i did have a big part in that too. wow.
so, not a perfect transition, but check this guy out. hugh mangum. portrait photographer traveling around north carolina, virginia, west virginia in the late 1800s/early 1900s. put anyone and everyone, regardless of race, age, economic status, species in front of his lens. and his pics are awesome. glass negatives found in a durham barn about 40 years ago, and exhibited through mid-may at the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham. cool to take mo there after school ends, on the way home, if she comes home this summer. look at how astounding these are.
once again, as always, art perseveres. and so do my kids.