The cold winds blew in over night with a drizzle. My first thought this morning was, “don’t let the tops of the bluebonnets blow off before I get Kira’s first photo among them.” The spongy carpet of blue and white flowers lining highways all over the hill country of Texas has arrived, and I’m eager to put my darling in front of their backdrop. It is quintessential Texas to make a photo with the bluebonnets, unless you are a mother of teenaged boys. I have a photo of Donny in the bluebonnets when he was Kira’s age and we lived in Fort Worth. But for all the years we’ve lived with only boys in our home in the state of Texas, they laughed at me and ran the other way when I suggested a photo op in the bluebonnets of March. But now that I have a girl, I think every Spring we are here she will need a portrait. As I drive around I look for a good location to deposit her sweetness and snap away.
For Kira, every morning is a fashion show. She pops her little brown head up from her bed to greet me with a big smile and hug and then we get busy assembling her “look” for the day. (Some days Andie gets this pleasure!) She dresses up every day. I won’t apologize for it. My thinking is, when she is horribly naughty, at least she’s cute. She likes to participate in accessorizing her outfit. After I adorned her hair she went searching in her toy box for this pink purse. Then she proceeded to fill it with things, and specifically her “phone”.
I don’t carry her down the stairs anymore. She’s thirty-five pounds now, and I know that because she went to the doctor for shots yesterday. She’s careful and steady. Our first order of business is to step out the front door for a mini photo shoot. Then we proceed with breakfast, and entering the social world where every where I take her she causes smiles to spread wide, and questions to fly. Everyone everywhere wants to talk to her, and she’s good at making conversation. She’s somewhat of an attraction because of her friendliness, confidence with strangers, and her fashion flair.
I usually forget that we don’t match skin tone. I know that sounds strange. But I forget because I am Mama and it’s no different than being mama to my boys. When I’m in public with her the way people react to us reminds me, “oh right, they are noticing we are different colors and surprised when she calls me mama.” When I go out alone, there’s no notice of me whatsoever. It is all about her.
I got a glimpse of us walking togther in a shop window, hand in hand, in our pretty dresses, purses, as we approached the frozen yogurt shop. After three shots at the pediatrician, ice cream was a very good idea. When I saw our reflection, it struck me, I have a little girl to do girl things together and it will be so enjoyable the older she gets. I imagine shopping days, lunches, stables, museums, theater… oh my. If the way she chatters now from her first morning yawn til she collapses into bed at night is any indication of our future conversations, we will solve all the world’s problems together.
When we were preparing for our adoption, waiting to get our hands on her, preparing for our life together here in America I wondered what the reactions of people would be like when they saw us together. I think I prepared myself for the worst. I can say there hasn’t been one negative response. Granted I live in a city rather than in a rural area. I often wonder if we’d have different responses if we lived somewhere in the deep south. Honestly, I don’t think so. Our culture has changed so much towards embracing diversity in the past 25 years when I experienced enough prejudice to make me want to kick a wall. I get a good sense now that people don’t feel they have to tolerate differences, but we all truly celebrate them.
It doesn’t matter to me what people think, but a time will come when it will affect Kira’s feelings about her story and herself, and I want to protect her as much as possible. I want to have the opportunity to educate her so she believes me before someone says something stupid to her. One stupid comment from an idiot could injure and wound her deeply and take years for her to overcome. That idiot will find out what a red headed Mama bear can be like. (I think the Baylor bear’s saying: “sick em” is appropriate.)
She discovered Barbie yesterday. We were strolling a toy aisle because I am seeking excellent plane ride activities for little miss, and when we walked down the Barbie aisle (my first time ever as a mom) her eyes grew wide and she said, “ooo, princess! Pretty!” She likes pretty. She likes clothes. She wanted to hold all of them! We didn’t buy one, because that is an event I need to consider carefully. I want her to have a memory of receiving her first Barbie doll. I am not sure if we should get a dark Barbie or a fair one. All of her baby dolls here are dark. I think I will get her a couple white ones, line them up and see what she does.
Craig and I are curious about this. Will she go towards what looks like her mama, or what she sees in the mirror? Will it even cross her mind? I’m just curious. Maybe I will line her shelves with the United Nations, Asian babies, South American babies, Eskimos. Why not? I hope that the world will be her school room.