January 14, 2012

Baby, you're a firework

My baby girl - which I probably shouldn't call her anymore because she's nearly as tall as I am - has been struggling a bit of late. She's going to be an official tween at the end of this month, because that's what happens when you hit the double digits, and that means she's running headlong into self-esteem trauma prime time. Which sucks for her. And it sucks for me, too. Mostly because it breaks my heart to see my smart, strong, brave, beautiful girl think she is anything less than everything.

And yet she does.

Last weekend, she and I took a rare evening together, just the two of us, with absolutely no brothers allowed. We went to the annual Girl Scout sock hop. It's our third year at this mother-daughter dance fest. Lots of elementary aged girls and their moms in poodle skirts, rolled up jeans, and high ponytails.

This year my diva wanted to be a 1950s style tomboy, because she's a tomboy in real life, so she went for the jeans and loafers look. And then she asked for my pearls, as she has every year. A little touch of girl in her tomboy get-up.

She was nervous heading in, which is what pre-pubescence does to a girl. I was, too. Not because I'm pre-pubescent (thank goodness for that), but because I'm not always very comfortable with the girl stuff. I was never a tomboy, but once I hit puberty I just stopped getting the girl thing. It's like everyone else was speaking a language I didn't understand. And while I did eventually learn the language, I'm definitely not a native speaker.

But once we got there, she was good. She ran off with her friends for line dancing and root beer floats and giggly conversation.

The evening flew by, and finally the deejay played his last song, Katy Perry's "Firework." Every girl at the hop ran into the room, crowding in front of the stage. And they erupted in song, fists in the air, singing out with the passion of youth and the total understanding that who they are is more than good enough.
You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the Fourth of July
'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go oh, oh, oh
As you shoot across the sky
This room full of girls, each of them as smart and strong and brave and beautiful as my diva, was shouting their worth out proudly to the world.

It was a moment, just a moment, of watching my diva know for herself that she can do anything, be anything, be everything. A moment of joy and confidence and reveling in the power of being a girl.

It's in there, all that strength and poise and power. And when she's ready, she'll share it with the world.


  1. What a beautiful story! I'm a couple of years behind you and I'm scared to death!

  2. Wow, I got goosebumps with this post. Thank you for sharing. And you are the best mom! -Lis