Thursday, September 29, 2022


Dear John,

We survived homecoming.  There were a few blips - which wouldn't have happened had you been here, because you would have objected to the expense.  We went to get our nails done, and I expected it to take 2 hours, but it took 3 because they were understaffed and overbooked.  That meant that S and her friend missed all the free food at the tailgate party, so I had to get them some dinner.  At that point, S was upset but ultimately decided to skip the football game.  It had gotten cold overnight, and it was drizzling, so she decided she didn't want to sit outside in that.

The next day, we got up early to get her hair done.  I was unsure about the hairdresser - she has the same last name as a former CSI who left rather suddenly and ignominiously, so I was concerned that it would be his wife.  Fortunately, it wasn't.  I liked her, but the hair style she created kind of made S's head look a bit like a football.  But it was fine - the 8 am appointment meant that her hair fell into a beautiful look by 4:30, which was picture time.

We went to the park by the library to take photos with the group.  (I went in to the library to pick up my movies.  The librarians were busy peeking out the windows and discussing how short many of the dresses were.  I showed them a photo of Selah and they approved of her dress.  It wasn't too short and she looked absolutely beautiful.)  I forgot to mention that my sister A came down - ostensibly to help with the baseball card issue, but also to be there for us during the first significant event without you.  She came to the park, and we were marveling at all the well-dressed and made-up moms who appeared to be reliving their high school days through their daughters.  

It was really weird, though.  All the girls would see each other and coo over each other's dresses and hair and shoes, but with S, they didn't do that.  There was no "I love your dress!"  Or, "OMG, your hair looks great!"  I hate that for her - other girls seem to think she doesn't need the same care and attention they give to each other and it's hard to watch her disappointment in not receiving it.  I did tell her that one of my friends in high school used to ask me "Why are you so hostile?" So maybe we share that quality.  I'm sad for her that she doesn't have a best friend like M, who I have known since we were 8.  But I hold out hope that she will find a friend like (other) M, who I met in college.  The both check in with me a lot since you've been gone.  It helps to know that I have people who know I need them and step up to be there for me.  I hope that I will be available for them if they need it, and I hope S finds her Ms sooner rather than later.  

After pictures, I drove S and two of her friends to a restaurant.  S was irritated with me that I didn't find a place to park while they waited for the rest of the group.  Instead, I kicked them out of the car.  My sister and I went to your favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner.  It was nice.  S then went to the dance, and then stayed over at one of the girl's houses.  Initially, she thought her two "friends" would be too annoying for her to tolerate.  But she adjusted, and had a good time at the sleepover.  As usual, she was super-cranky when she got home.  

We all went out to brunch with my sister's friend who lives locally.  It was fun.  After that, we went to Kohl's to shop for S's birthday present.  She ended up getting 6 shirts with her aunt's discounts and budget.  A gave them to her immediately, but there's another gift that we picked up while S was at the sleepover.  

I'm not sure how we're going to get through her birthday, but her solution is to go somewhere.  I'm trying to figure out where to go.  I don't want to fly anywhere.  We might go to my sister J's house - I'll have to check with her.  Or maybe we'll take a little road trip.  I don't know - especially with the dogs.  It's going to be a hard thing to manage.  I wish you were here to celebrate this particular milestone.  16 is a big day, and your presence will definitely be missed.



1 comment:

  1. A, I am so sorry you are navigating these milestones without John. I hope you find a really good way to honor S's 16th birthday.

    My take on S's friends withholding attention from her: perhaps they sense in S a confidence they wish they had, a not-needing of external praise, which is usually half-fake, anyway. Perhaps withholding is their small-minded way of bringing her down a notch. Not because she's haughty or hostile, but because she's less dependent getting group approval than they are. #jealous

    Of course, it still hurts, even with confidence.