Her favorite color was red. A sparkly red car, a new plumb red lipstick, and blood red nail polish- these all helped her to feel powerful. Power was something she hadn’t had growing up the 3rd of 4 kids with alcoholically distracted parents. The red cardigan with silver engraved buttons, red pleated miniskirt, strawberry blonde hair all helped her to feel seen.
As a child she was seen and not heard, you see. Proud of not needing her parents, or siblings support, she had the starring role in the Christmas pageant in 2nd grade: Susie Snowflake. But she didn’t believe her parents would attend to see their youngest daughter in a tutu ballerina outfit dance across the stage. She was only a second grader. It was never said aloud that everyone else in the family was more important…(But her perception is what counted more than truth, right?) There was just too much to do to take care of dinner, support an angry mood, nag older sister about the long phone call with boyfriend, respond to brother’s scout troop leader and clean up spilled milk at the dinner table.
When her own daughter had a ballet recital at 4 years old, the camera had run out of batteries she had taken so many photos of the child eating up the attention and the camera. She realized how much she missed her own ballerina program attention. And she missed being read to in her mom’s lap, and holding her mom’s hand, and…
She realized she had become an analyzer of emotions, an empath, an observer of life as a defense mechanism against the waves of sadness that came over her occasionally. So she turned to black as her favorite color, to recognize the mourning of xhunks of lost childhood. Black turtlenecks, black coats, black scarves, black nail polish, black kitchen floor and linens…
How long will that last? She can’t say. But it is high time. It is important to mark, to grieve, to accept the mourning to get to the morning. And when it is over… let pink be the favorite. Give in to glorifying in pink satin shoes, sparkly bubblegum nail polish, hot pink pajamas, and pink pens, with pink ink even! To feel innocent and loved, appreciated for who she is, from head to toe. There is still plenty of time to relish it.
P.S. I deleted this post a couple days after publishing. It felt less than respectful of my parents and all they worked to create for our lives. (It also felt really self indulgent and so whiny!)
But I just read Charlie Country Boy had commented that it was “an interesting read that he took o er breakfast”. So I revised a touch and am republishing it w this note… My childhood was like most, there are always downsides to the human experience, right? ❤