Story-ideas-1011172

Op-eds

Girls are made of sugar and spice

  • Howard Feldman 2018
By Sunday night, I had the answer to the question: “Would you consider adopting Abby?” I had messaged two friends. “We will continue to pay the cost of her tuition, and will cover her hair products.” I didn’t want to blindside anyone, especially as I know that keeping her hair in the perfect curl sets us back monthly. It’s a line item in the family budget.
by HOWARD FELDMAN | Jun 06, 2019

“Shouldn’t be a problem,” said the first. The second said they would be honoured. “Voetstoots!” I responded, thinking it would make them reconsider. I used to be a lawyer, after all. Both were happy to proceed.

Then I felt bad.

Mostly I really do adore her. She is smart, courageous, and kind. It was just this weekend that, well, she wasn’t.

To be fair, at the time that I made the offer, the woman-child was sobbing uncontrollably in her room. Sobbing as though someone had died, suddenly, and for no good reason. Why? Why was she weeping inconsolably?

Because my wife had asked her to try on a new dress that she had altered for her. And she didn’t want to. Not at that moment. The fact that she had been asked to do this for at least a week didn’t seem relevant to the woman-child. “I’ve had such a long day!” she wailed, “My brain is fried! Please! Don’t make me do this! Please!” It was hard to take it seriously.

I exchanged glances with my son of 17. He was pale, and there was no doubt that he was in deep shock. He needed sugar, and we would need to debrief him. I feared that if we didn’t, there would be a good chance that he would never get married.

For the sake of order, I will take a minute to describe the nature of her long day. She woke up at 10:00 after a wonderful evening out with her brother and friends the night before.

She bounded through the door, giggling with joy and bursting with anecdotes and laughter, after which she drifted off to slumber on a cloud of happiness.

When she woke up, the sun was already confidently in the sky, and mom had made her breakfast of fresh salmon and eggs while she chatted about the evening before.

After breakfast, she left to shower, and dedicated about an hour to get ready (you already know about the hair). She then joined us out for lunch, came home and relaxed some more, before getting ready to go to a friend for a birthday tea.

She took no buses, she did no schoolwork, she didn’t take the trash out, and she didn’t work in any underground mine that is guilty of unfair labour practices.

She most probably didn’t even make her own bed, she certainly didn’t wash a dish or help prepare her meal. The only thing “fried” was the schnitzel her mother made for her for supper.

“You just don’t understand me!” she wailed. “Nope”. I thought. “I most definitely don’t.”

Nor, of course, did my 17-year-old son. My wife, alone, apparently did. “It’s a girl thing,” she said understandingly. But then turned to Abby in a ferocious, teeth clenched tone, and hissed “Try! On! That! Dress!”

So convincing was her instruction, I found myself reaching for the item to try it on myself. This was not a woman to be trifled with. If that dress had to be tried on, then it needed to be tried on, and it didn’t seem to matter if it was Abby, my 17year-old son, or me.

Someone had to do it.

It did happen in the end. When she finally emerged from her room in the offending item, it was plain to see how beautiful she looked. Even her swollen eyes didn’t detract from it. She really looked wonderful.

Fortunately, no adoption papers were signed by the end of the evening, and it seems as though we might rescind the offer, or at least put it on hold for the time being. She really is lovely to have around most the time.

By the time I left for the studio at 05:00, she was already up and busy in the kitchen decorating a cake that she had baked for a friend’s birthday.

We might still be suffering from a touch of post-traumatic-stress disorder, but she was well over it. She hummed as she worked as though the night before had never happened.

Fourteen is not an easy age. The biggest challenge for parents is that we never know if it is woman-child or child-woman who will emerge from her bedroom.

With boys it was different. They remained boys no matter what type of body they inhabited.

But that is a subject for another day.

Comment

  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
       
    Toolbar's wrapper 
     
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
      
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
       
Yad---Generic-Banner---2

Generic-Course-Ad_02
 

Follow us on

Newsletter