Begone child (take me with you)

It's been a minute, but digging about the ancient storage bins in my mind, one of the earliest times I remember thinking I should share intimate information about my daughter on very public internet to complete strangers was when she had barely reached toddlerhood.  

I feel our naivety from that time.  We ambled about the world, thinking it to be a material place, where relevant boundaries were tangible, touchable.  We did not know about the universe inside the boxes and screens.  My daughter was so young, unaware of the dangers and adult associations of the material objects about her.  I called her Smootchie.  She certainly did not know about the Internet.  I hardly knew about the Internet.

She also did not know about the potty.  Or maybe, she hadn't yet learned to withhold appreciation of an object to the most pedestrian* designated use, which is one of the necessary but not the most creative parts of growing up.  We were at a shopping mall, my mother, my daughter and myself, perusing one of the new style novelty shops, A Loonie Store, which sold things that only cost a loonie (or one dollar cad for non-Canadians).  

Grandma says, You can have thing, child, from this here shop. Pick anything you like.  

There was toys.  There was candy.  But in the end, my daughter parades out holding aloft her shiny new toilet plunger. 

Of course that plunger was a favourite toy for years to come, kept pristine and far away from any lavatory.  It was a hat, a horn, a sword, a tripping hazard.  I remember my son, born three years after the girl, playing with it. 

But I am not here to speak specifically about toilet plungers or the ethics of writing about private family life that includes minors.

I am here to mildly embarrass my daughter.  Again.  

I have written so much about her online.  It has been mostly, I believe, about my experience as a parent and as a maker of things for people.  I've tried to not speak for her.  But she has been employed as my muse and model, for her entire life.  At first she was generously compensated for this with chocolate.  In later years, gas money and the occasional boot.     

    You can still find this sewing pattern modelled by daughter in 2007 (I think?) on this blog site, and purchase the e-pattern with the sewing pieces on my Etsy.   People still do, every week.  If I forget to renew my listings on Etsy, or a download link breaks here, I receive messages to Please Make Available.

It is surprising to me.  After all these years.  I wonder if people see this little girl and believe she is out there now, an eternal enfant.  I am estranged from the world of sewing, currently only using my machine to stitch together paper pockets in books I make.  My creative work moves along; I won't say evolved because it doesn't seem like something moving away but connected and better suited.  It more revolves, spinning around an elemental base.  Still, I like to think that if I sat down with a pile of fabric squares and a serger, my hands would remember the movement and I could put something functional together with just a few tears.  

That is one thing I remember.  There is always tears when sewing.      

But daughter.  Daughter has Evolved.  Moved along.  Long ago she started on a path I had laid for myself. But she's fast and brave.  She is way up ahead of me, carving out the trail for herself.  I follow her now. 

This blog has saved so many moments for me.  My memory fails me, despite my attachment to the dramas I live.  Reading the archive here, my own words are unfamiliar.  I don't remember writing them.  I don't know what happened next.  But I am transported through time, feel the feels.  Looking back over the entries, sometimes I am impressed with drive to find insight, but mostly I am appalled at my smug belief that I could tidy up experience and draw out some sort of sense of the glorious absurdity of these years.  I knew nothing. I know nothing now.  

But here.  Look at this human that has survived somehow from the effort and chaos of my devotion.   

Girl child's closing act of childhood will be playing roller derby this summer in Valence, France, with the Junior Roller Derby Association Canadian team for the Junior Roller Derby World Cup.  

I can't think of a more suitable launching point into adulthood for this dynamic, tenacious, valiant human.    

As I write about this on the Internet now, for strangers to read**, I experience, despite my murky memory, a direct line of sentiment that ties me back to way, way back to when I started writing about my tiny baby.  That small one who began life in the middle of a boss battle and has somehow never stopped fighting.  I'm grateful for this child who brought me inspiration and reason to pursue my own fundamental needs to create and love.  That she lives and breaths is so gobsmackingly miraculous.  I am so happy for her, and that she does this thing that makes her feel alive and such intensity.  

So today I briefly revive this ancient format to just express my wonder at it all.  For those who have read about my creative work and my small family who are my inspiration, if you are curious, you can know that we are well.  Life is not unblemished, we have many regrettable moments we unfortunately designed ourselves and, of course, still stand in the way of the inevitable tragedies and indignities that is the burden of every living being on this planet.  But we are well and we have so many good things and many other things to look forward to. 

I still don't know what I am doing.  

And we are going to France.

 * It's perplexing to me that the word pedestrian, an occupation that is undervalued and endlessly fascinating when approached with an inquisitive spirit, also means something that is dull or mundane.  Although, I admit, I often prefer to pedestriate while wearing roller skates.   

** Or not. I am sure no one reads blogs anymore at all

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