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Monday, May 11, 2015

VADA THE YOUNG GIRL


vada
photo by her mother

I feel less a part of this world, week by week. It is the reverse of watching baby Vada grow into the world toward her fourth birthday, a week at a time, seeing the family on Sundays every week since before Vada was born. Every time I see her, she is new. A month ago, I saw the absence of baby and the appearance of little girl. Her mother keeps her in beautiful dresses, shirts, girl pants, shoes. In one way it seems like indulgence, which it is not, rather that she has such a beautiful face, living eyes, the wavy blond hair of childhood, a child so beautiful she needs pretty clothes to complement her face and personality. She is so accustomed, at almost four, to wearing pretty and colorful clothes, they have already become her personal style. Vada will be a woman few men will know how to know. When she finds one, he will be just like daddy, and daddy will go straight up through the roof. Hope daddy packs a parachute. In high school she will be among the best looking and best dressed girls in her class, a jock magnet. And, by the time she's in her teens, she will have at least as many deer kills as the hunters among the guys. She will be hunting with a bow by then. She will be a dancer, she will be a martial artist, and primarily she will be a singer. Mom, dad and I have talked at length about the necessity of a young girl being able to take care of herself. Rape culture is in full bloom in the colleges and military now, as well as out here in the  world. Rape culture will be in the high schools when Vada goes there, like it is in the colleges today and the last several years, and will go on for several more years. We want our babydoll to go into high school with a reputation that any guy wanting to dominate Vada Smith would only dare at serious risk to himself. Her daddy knows what guys are like. He's a good teacher. She will be winning archery tournaments by the time she goes into high school. She's likely to play on the girls' baseball team better than the guys, her daddy her coach playing catch.

vada and daddy
photo by her mother

Vada has her daddy's drive and her mama's drive too. They are different drives.  Her daddy's drive is to do everything he does well. Anything he takes up he learns it well. Last year he shot a running coyote in the head and called the shot. The friend with him said, "You'll never do it." He can robinhood an arrow at will. Doesn't do it anymore. Arrows are expensive, anyway the kind he uses are. Doing carpentry, he pays close attention to detail. House painting, the same. He can paint a straight line on a corner where two colors meet that looks better than taping it would. He likes to drive a powerful pickup with a rumble in the exhaust pipes and a Confederate flag in the middle of the front bumper. It means he loves the South and whatever else you'd suppose it to mean. He likes the rebel attitude of it. It's a sharp stick in the eye to them that don't like it. It says, I am I -- no apologies. He gets his meditation time on a boat fishing in a lake or the river. He throws back. Doesn't like to eat fish. He's straight-up honest in money dealings. It fires him up if someone doubts his integrity. His integrity he worked out for himself, not a supposed-to or religion thing. It's his own. In himself, it's his identity. It has meaning for him. He understands karma, that what you give out comes back. He has seen enough examples in his life of people too self-centered to value integrity, blaming others, unable to see self accountable for one's own fate. He is an excellent teacher. He can explain something with such clarity I can see what he's talking about. I like to hear him talk about hunting. It's something I cannot do. I don't want to kill anything. I stop when a squirrel darts back and forth across the road in front of me. Squirrels don't have long lifespans, which may explain why they never seem to get it about cars. I don't want to run over a squirrel. I don't even want to kill snakes. I understand hunters are the predators the deer need to keep the herds healthy. I like to hear hunting stories, but can't pull the trigger.

vada and elsa
photo by her mother

Vada's daddy's drive is introverted, while her mother's drive is extroverted. Crystal likes to have a business and go around to different businesses drumming up business. She enjoys working with people, individually and in groups, gives herself wide-open who-she-is in the exchange, is self-taught in everything she does, seeking and finding opportunities to learn what she needs to do, whatever it is she wants to do. She wanted to be a wedding and portrait photographer, got her learning on the job, apprenticed while she was in high school, set up a business and hit the ground running. Characteristic of her portraits is living eyes. She has a good eye and a clever visual imagination. She pushes herself keeping two businesses going, a child, a husband, and a house to keep spic-n-span clean and neat. She's an example of the saying, a woman's work is never done. I admire her ability to do so much and still have a life. She doesn't leave her life when she works. She works for herself and makes two businesses work well for her. She is a mother fully engaged with her daughter, her friend. She explains things to Vada, and Vada understands her. Vada does not need to be threatened or punished when she has an understanding of the rules of growing up human on earth. The furniture in the house, Crystal has bought for very little and restored in the basement workshop where she and Justin make things she sells. Her mind is popping with new ideas. I see Crystal's drive in Vada, as well as Justin's. I see their unique qualities in Vada woven together. I see the unique Vada, who is herself. Seeing her through her process of individuation, I am in awe of Vada, who she, herself, is, a three-year-old with understanding beyond her age, an automatically loving spirit.

vada conehead
photo by her mother
 
I had a horoscope done on Vada the day she was born. Reading it, I saw she is half her mommy and half her daddy. Almost four, she is the child I saw in the horoscope. Seeing her grow up, I see her grow into her horoscope. Sun in Gemini. Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars in Taurus. Ascendant in Scorpio. She's out-going and private too. Being a Gemini, the twins, duality, she can handle the apparent clash of seeming opposites. All her inner planets in Taurus. She's already stubborn as a donkey. She comes by it honest, too. Her mommy and daddy have it in equal measure. There is also the creative aspect of Taurus her mommy and daddy have in equal measure. Vada is at home. Venus, the planet of love, is the ruling planet of Taurus. I look at this picture of Vada above, conehead Vada, and see her horoscope. She loves to make others laugh. Knowing Vada, I see somebody who will endure. If anything comes along to knock her down, she'll get up, pull herself together and keep on. She has tremendous depth, a fast, retentive mind, a heart full of love and a charming personality. A few minutes ago I was looking at Vada's eyes in this picture of Vada conehead, and thought, Who are you? Who were you? Answer: Who I was is who I am, Vada with another name. If she wants to be a singer, possibly on regional bluegrass stages, she won't need a last name. Like Sade she'll be Vada. She loves her name. She has charisma in her presence. She performs in dances, song, acting. A few weeks ago when we were talking and she was in her Elsa dress, she said, "Are you glad to see me?" A flash in my mind's eye saw Vada with her band onstage in Seattle between songs saying, "I LOVE YOU SEATTLE!" Audience Roars. "ARE YOU GLAD TO SEE ME?" Audience Roars.

vada and her mother
photo by her daddy



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5 comments:

  1. Love this!! hit it right on the nail head! :)

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  2. Brings tears to my eyes! Bittersweet ... you love the baby and sad to see her go, yet such joy for the girl/woman possibilities.

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    1. Lee, yes, you know that time in a child--one day baby--next day a kid. I'm loving watching her individuate, becoming who she is. Her parents encourage who she is to surface. Everybody that knows her knows there is something special about her. It's evident. I'll not see her grown up, but I can see the woman in the child.

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  3. Love meeting Vada through your writing and the wonderful pictures T.J.!

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    1. Thank you, Christine. It is a fun challenge to write about dear Vada. The Vada I know is a true human being. I'm happy you say meeting Vada. I hoped to give a sense of her beingness. She's a spirit of light.

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