“People get tired of hearing about sad things, “ my thirteen year old goddaughter says sagely. “Like people dying. Because they don’t know what to say. They just want you to get better and stop talking. I know this,” she continues, her serious voice echoing through across the airwaves from snowy Indiana down to chilly Miami, “because my grandpa died and that’s how people are.”
I consider this. Yes, she’s right. That’s how people are.
“But you can always talk to me. Because I am very patient and I am a good listener.”
This is also true. She is at the age where most responses are two syllables at the most. Yet I know she mentally records and catalogs everything I say, even when she appears to be texting and with earbuds firming planted under long blonde hair.
She is patient with her family. Her older brother is my twenty-four year old. She and her younger brother are the glorious product of my ex-boyfriend and his wife. Her mother anointed me to be their godmother. This kind of family takes a tremendous amount of patience just in explaining to outsiders who is actually who. This is a very patient child.
She knew my mother her whole life. When she was old enough to talk, she asked Mom pointedly, “Are you one of my Grandmas?”
Instead of replying, “Well, no. I’m the mother of your godmother who is your Daddy’s ex-girlfriend and your brother’s mother,” Mom simply smiled. “Would you like me to be?”
That little blonde head nodded. Even as a tiny one she knew one can never have too many grandmothers. Now my Mom is gone. And the little blonde head is a teenager.
“So…I am thinking of writing a blog.” I wait for her answer. No, for her approval. “That way no one has to read it if they don’t want to hear about how I feel.”
A tiny sigh. “Oh Thea, they’ll read it. Because they will be curious. Then they’ll get sad and be angry they read it.”
A pause. I hear Miley Cyrus through her iPod telling us both that it’s our party and we can do what we want to, it’s our mouth and we can say what we want to.
“She’s right, you know. Miley, I mean,” my goddaughter/teenage bff says. “It’s your words and you can say what you want to.”
Then that sweet voice belonging to the blue-jeaned baby whose diapers I once changed forgets she’s on the phone and she and Miley sing to their audience of one. “Only God can judge ya, forget the haters, ‘cos somebody loves ya.”
I feel a little better and I start to type.
I figure I have a year to complete it.