Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Legacy keepers

We were skyping with Apple and her husband and children the other day.  There is nothing cuter in the whole world than listening to children from the UK talking, especially with the dialect they have where consonants are enunciated crisply.

Anyway,  Apple recounted an interesting story from when DJ was very little.  Back then, of course, we knew her as JD.  JD's dad and I had been separated for six weeks when he committed suicide.  Of course, the entire thing was awful.  But Apple explained that she was talking with JD and asked "him" something to the effect of where JD thought his dad was.  JD answered, in true 3 year verbiage,

"He's with Godzilla;  he'll be ok."

Apple went on to explain how she has revisited that memory countless times and realized that that child's reaction was so utterly female.  That she remembers looking in the face of that child and seeing what she now realizes is that inherent female quality of acceptance and resilience that even young girls will manifest.

And I know what she is talking about.  It's just something I know as the mother of my children, somehow.  Now, I don't ordinarily believe in assigning traits by gender, unless done cautiously and judiciously.  But we all know that there are different energies each gender radiates, regardless of their exterior or interior plumbing.  We can't define it, but we feel it from each other.

Goodwrench and Romeo were little boys who cried occasionally, as all children will.  Goodwrench was a screamer, and Romeo was a quiet crier.  But when DJ cried, there was something so.....soulful about it.  DJ didn't cry for the same reasons Goodwrench or Romeo did.  They "tended" to cry over frustration or anger, or fear.  DJ cried over sadness or disappointment.  I don't know what I'm trying to say....but I knew  she was different from her brothers and I never thought "different/bad" just "different/good" and for as long as any of us can remember, everyone, Bulldog included, said JD was my "favorite".

I love all my children the same, but DJ (formerly known as JD) and I were kindred spirits.  I just didn't know why.  I had so many moments with DJ that were similar in nature to what Apple described that I don't remember having with DJ's brothers.  The moments I shared with them were equally as wonderful, but decidedly different.  For instance, they both wanted to marry me.  (When Goodwrench was about 3, he performed a little wedding ceremony for he and I. Romeo argued with his dad that I was "his".) DJ never did.

I still remember my 8 months pregnant self, weeping on finding out that the sonogram revealed the parts of a "boy."  I was so SURE she was a girl.  I truly believed that God didn't think I was fit to raise a girl.  (I was young and still brainwashed....)  I yearned for a daughter-truly.  But I loved all my children regardless of their parts, so I put the yearning aside and reveled in the three kids I had.

I still can't believe how lucky I am to have a daughter-and not just any daughter.  I'm so lucky that DJ is  my daughter.  What she has done for this family, how she has changed it for the better, just by being her authentic self, cannot be adequately explained, but I'll try.

Both Bulldog and Goodwrench are decidedly more tender around her and perhaps because of her.  Romeo continues to pal around with her, when they are together, the way he always has which is equally as wonderful.  I cannot even begin to describe how she has changed me.  Read the book "The Red Tent" and hear how Dinah describes her mother and the nature of their bond and it will describe my feelings more accurately.

In this world, where male conquest is what is recorded in the history books, female legacy is left to the keeping of the daughters.  I see my future through DJ-does that make sense?