yes, anastasia

“We’ll see how brave you are
We’ll see how fast you’ll be running
We’ll see how brave you are
Yes, Anastasia.”
Tori Amos

i sometimes think about bravery. i think about bravery every day, actually. i think about whether i will be brave over the next year, decade, life. especially on mornings like this, when i start feeling that liquid in my lungs. i’ve been healthy for four weeks. and BOOM! it starts up again. maybe i need more frequent treatments. i think about bravery when i think about people who’ve battled cancer. and won, like my mother. and lost, like my friend syrentha. and i think about whether i’ll be brave when things start happening to people i love. i can’t bear those moments.

but enough about boring old me and my neurotic wonderland. let’s talk about one of my real heroes. every single solitary week, BC attends a different camp filled with different children and different activities and a different schedule. Most of the time, she manages to find one child who seems to be in the same boat, and the two girls become fast friends for the week. this morning, BC was slated for a camp out near tysons. at first, she was happy because she saw a little girl she had met in a different camp three weeks ago. but this little girl is 9. it became painfully clear that the kids were being segregated by age. bc is more than halfway to nine, but on paper, that still reads as 8. and most of the kids in the 8 year old group were…boys.

i think dante overlooked the circle of hell known as the haven for 8 year old boys. rambunctious, pre-hormonal, rough, crude. and it only gets more, er, spirited, until they’re 40 (maybe.)

anyway, BC, realizing she was not going to find any kindred spirits amidst this set, did what she is wont to do when faced with an impossibility: she tilted her puppy dog hat down so the visor hid her face against my chest, and she cried. and cried. quietly. i put my arms around her and tried to think fast. is this one of those parental situations where you’re supposed to tell your child to buck up and try to find something good? or do i jump in, deus ex mama, and lift her out of the situation into safety?

as i stood there, debating, the question’s answer materialized. my friend diane showed up with her daughter emma. what a wonderful surprise! now emma is 9, but the girls have sort of known each other ever since i met emma’s dad on an employee message board nearly 8 years ago. (it sounds sordid, but i was looking for other employees with girls the same age in an attempt to start up a playdate. we’ve all been friends ever since 🙂 and, just at that moment, the director walked over to see what was wrong with BC. “well,” i said, “she’d really like to be in a group with her friend, but her friend is 9. can she join the 9 year olds?” and that was that. while girlfriend didn’t skip away to camp happily, BC had emma’s arm around her, so hopefully, that helped.

[a big shout out to you, emma. you’re one of my big heroes today. along with BC, who is definitely one of my heroes every single solitary day. you’re one tough chick, bunnygirl.]

i hope i’ll be brave enough to survive parenthood.

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2 Responses to “yes, anastasia”

  1. Yay! Wow, parenting really does get harder than infant- and toddlerhood, doesn’t it? People have been saying that, but I found it hard to believe. I kind of understand now.

    (Also, you’re anything but boring. Let’s plan to ditch the kids and go out soon, ‘kay?)

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