Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Serena Star

"This baby will have blue eyes," I said to my sister.

Coral rolled her eyes.

"That doesn't make any sense.  Brown is dominant.  There is no way you could have a blue-eyed child," she said.

"It just came to me.  I saw her.  I have no doubt.  Her eyes are blue," I said.

I filled the closet that was to be hers with ruffley, blue dresses.

Her blue eyes were wide and thoughtful the day she was born.  Almost confused.  She didn't cry for several minutes which frightened the doctors. I was too young and naive to concern myself with a silent newborn.

"She is so serene and calm," I said. 

I was also too naive to decipher between serenity and lack of oxygen.  Serena proved to be a little fire ball.

There has been very little evidence of the serenity I saw in those first few minutes.

Serena is passionate, intelligent, tireless, driven, comical and loud.

We celebrated Serena's 12th birthday tonight at home.  She requested homemade burgers and french fries and a family movie night.  The feature film was The Last Airbender, which nobody watched because all the children took turns fighting over who got to sit next to Mama or on Mama's lap.  I was kicked several times in the scuffle.

In case you are wondering what The Youngsters are into these days, here is one of Serena's favorite clips.  After watching it 30 times myself, I begin to see the genius behind The Annoying Orange and a talking Pasta claiming to be an artist.

It's three minutes.  You can do it.  Hang in there.


So...what did you think?  Compelling, eh?

I am having a hard time coping with the fact Serena is so grown up.

I'm all misty and teary remembering all the nights I held her tiny body and played with her fingers and toes.  I couldn't believe this little miracle was entrusted to me.  What must God have been THINKING?

I was so protective.  I never let anyone feed her a bottle.  I nourished her with my own body for the first 18 months of her life. 

She slept in my arms every night.  Until, one fine day, my husband had had enough of sharing his wife and his bed with a squirmy infant.

He forced me to let Serena cry in her crib.  I cried in mine.  I heard her screaming, "Mama! Mama!" from behind her closed door.  Ripped my heart out.

When she was 3, she attempted her first ballet recital at a Nursing Home.  She was terrified by all the toothless, grinning elderly people.  She stood frozen in the middle of the stage as the other tiny ballerinas danced around her.  She held her arms out to me and again cried, "Mama!".

When Serena was 5, she insisted on wearing fancy dresses and sparkly shoes to kinder everyday.  I was so proud of my little lady.

When she was 10, she was The Mean Girls target.  I cried with her everytime I picked her up from school and found her weeping.  I had vivid fantasies of yanking those little girls off a swing set by their hair.  Alas, there was nothing I could do.

Now, she is in the era of secret crushes, giggly gossip, lip gloss, i-pods, slumber parties (which are always at my place because there is NO WAY I'm letting her out of my sight at this age.) and perfume.

"Get me some perfume and good smelling lotion for my birthday and Christmas," she said.  "I want some becuase YOU always smell so good."

It's scary she is watching me closely.  She wants to smell good because I "always smell so good".  What else does she see in me that will be emulated.  It's a terrifying thought.  An enormous responsibility. 

The next major stage in Serena's life is romantic Love and solid crushes.  I dred it.  They are called crushes for a reason.  Love can be so painful. 

I do not look forward to witnessing the heartbreak that will surely come.  I will try my best to be objective but will secretly detest any boy who walks through my door with the potential to break her heart.  I  know that when he makes her cry I will cry too.

When she was born I was struck by the knowledge that for the first time in my life I Loved another human being more than I Loved myself.  I knew I would sacrifice my sleep, potential for monetary success and prestige, peace of mind, freedom and even my life for her happiness.

I knew her eyes were blue before she was born. 

I now know Serena was sent to me as my first born to teach me how to be a mother.  Before the world was, she promised she would come to me and I promised to comfort her when she called, "Mama!"

I love you, Serena Beana.  Happy birthday!