I picked up Liv from school today and when we got home I made us both a milk shake and we went outside to sit in the back yard. It was glorious out, warm and silky with a breeze that felt just right.
I had brought out Bing's old boom box with us and I set it down next to us while we went around giving all the flowers a good long drink from the hose.
I asked her if it was getting better. She nodded, said that yes, it was getting easier.
"I still don't get this style of learning," she said. "It's just...tedious. All that waiting around for others to catch up on the things you already know and then when you feel as if you are faltering, you are scrambling to find a way to stay up with the others. Math is so easy for me, I get so bored while the teacher explains again and again about the same thing. English is hard. I DETEST diagramming sentences. It is so hard and some of the rules just don't make sense. I feel myself falling behind and don't feel comfortable saying that I don't get clause configurations, although predicates make sense. I get so worried that I will fall behind...."
We can work on that, I told her. I can diagram a sentence. I don't LIKE to, but I can. So, we can work on that tonight, if you think you can stomach it...
She said yes and thank you, Mama.
She said that the teasing by certain boys was abating. But, the girls...how does one figure them? Some were just plain snotty and she had no idea WHY. Others seemed nice but when in a group would often abandon her. Why was that?
I told her that human nature is a tough nut. Especially junior high girls. The snotty ones? Probably not worth your time. The ones who are nice one on one but abandon her in a group? They may not realize that they are doing it, maybe are just hanging with their groups.
You don't really have a group yet, maybe you will never have one. I never really did. But, you must be patient and just enjoy your own company sometimes until you get the opportunity to reach out to someone who interests you. Don't let it matter if it is a boy or a girl, just look for interesting personalities. Like that boy who talked to you about fantasy football. What was his name?
"David. He's nice, but very quiet. And someone teased him for talking to me, a GIRL, so he shied away a little bit," she answered.
Well, I told her. He was a start, yes?
The flowers were sated, all had their drinks.
I reached down and flipped on the boom box and held out my arms.
"Wanna dance?" I asked.
She rolled her eyes and smiled, but took my hands.
"I love you, mother," she said very, very quietly.
"And I adore you, Livvie Belle," I told her.
Slowly and then with more gusto, with no cares about who was watching (no one) or who would judge us (no one), we danced...just me and Livvie. With the flowers all around us, slowly nodding in the breeze, approving our almost Autumn dance. The flowers liked us, I think. They are in their old age, getting ready to sleep all Winter. They like music. They like watching us dance, feeling us love each other.
Because, really...all is love.
Just me and Liv. All is love.