There are some moments when DJ won’t communicate with me – but I can tell she is off.
And I get why even when she doesn’t understand herself – or at least won’t articulate.
Apple, you didn’t land far from the tree.
There are moments as a parent when you realize the universe has given you a kid just like you. Not so you can pay for the sins of your own youth, but so you can give them what you did not have growing up. So you could respect and honor who they are – and see beyond facades – beyond what they aren’t saying – and react the right way – not the way those reacted to you at that age.
At one point as she isn’t talking, she let something slip. If it were G, he would not understand. He would have likely seen it as another situation where DJ was not being decisive. But that was not the case. It was far from a case of indecision. She was worried about making people feel something they don’t want to feel – like guilt because they didn’t want to attend her birthday party. So, instead of asking, she keeps her desire to get her friends together to herself by not asking. She tries to bury it as “my birthdays are not important to me” or “I don’t ever do anything for my birthday anyway”. Both bullshit. She loves her birthday. She has always done something special to celebrate.
“Kid,” I told her, “I love you to death but don’t do this to yourself. Don’t hide behind indecision. You know what you want – you are afraid of asking because you are afraid of hearing ‘no’ or hearing that people have better things to do than spend time with you. You cannot do that yourself. You must ask for what you want – for what you need. You are not someone who asks for anything – be ok with asking at times.”
She gave me a look that was part “how did you guess” and part “holy fuck”. Then she tried to act all tough “how do you know?”
Fuck – how do I know? I know because when I started asking – I got shot down as being selfish because I tried it with adults who only acted they cared if it got them what they wanted. I didn’t ask when I was young so I ended up surrounded by selfish people who only wanted what they wanted – and took advantage, not of the fact I was a follower (because I wasn’t) but that for me it was easier to give than take. I still won’t ask – even if it is what I’m hoping for because better not to ask than suggest and be shut down.
“I don’t want you to be in your late 30s, realize it is time to learn to ask, but become incredibly disillusioned with the idea that you will be heard. Learn to ask now. Don’t stay in your head, kid.”
She could not see that I could see her getting teared up – thank goodness for sun glasses.
“What do I say to them?”
“Honey, you won’t have to say anything – tell them it’s your birthday, you expect them there wearing tiaras in your honor. They will be there.”
“It’s your birthday – you’ll make them wear tiaras if you want to.”
For the first time in 20 minutes, she smiled.
We spent the ride home swapping snarky ways she could ask.
“Dear nerds, I am celebration my escape-from-the-vagina day – be there to help me celebrate my escape” was her favorite -though not what she went with.
Less than an hour later, she had four of her friends excited to come. All asking when and what to bring.
Her mood? A total 180 from an hour before.
A former cohort commented when someone asked me if I wanted a boy or a girl while pregnant that the universe would give me what I needed. Funny how that has worked out.
Here’s hoping I give her what she needs.