We took Rocky to a Feelings Person today. She dressed in her very prettiest outfit, a striped dress borrowed from her friend Cali, her white dress-up shoes with the heels, her hair pulled back into a ponytail and her new purple headband. She looked so . . . tall, and so . . . I don’t know, teenager-y. Every once in a while I see Rocky with new eyes – I notice that she’s changed, since the last time I backed up, hands on hips, and had a good look at her. Her hair, usually shortened by the tight wind of her spiral curls, was wavy and long, a kind of windblown, untamed wispy curl that has recently become a focal point for scores of well-meaning but entirely too jealous grown-up women. “Look at that hair! I wish I had hair like that.” Rocky has started saying, “I wish I [insert what she isn’t here]”.
And for the record, I hate heels, however small, on little girls. They’re terrible for a growing body, for anyone’s body, and send out a message about our daughters that makes me nauseous. I don’t hate them as much as I hate seeing 8-year-old girls with “Bad Girl” written across the seat of their short shorts, or 4 year olds in sassy bikinis and lip gloss. But it’s the same idea. There’s an army of “sexy” little girls out there, and I want to slap their parents.
But you know, sometimes I don’t want to fight. So I let her wear the goddamn heels. Somebody slap me.
Now slap me again, because despite what they do to my back, I sometimes wear heels, too. And, despite my arrhythmia, I’ve started drinking coffee. What’s next, cigarettes? Anyway . . .
The Feelings Person is named Jane, and she’s an old classmate of our own wise Amazing Therapist. Jane chatted with the moms for a bit, before we left the two of them to their session. For the past two years or more, Rocky’s make-believe has been almost entirely about beautiful, sweet creatures, usually horses or puppies, being hurt, lost, trapped by bad men, or killed. We let it go on for a while, to see if it would work out on its own, replaced by less disturbing scenarios. But here we are, and Rocky is still obsessed with these fearful things. Rukan is convinced that it’s trapped body memory from the trauma of her heart surgery. I wonder how much is has to do with the changes that have taken place in her family structure, and the fact that we’re getting ready to leave her home. But we noticed it before all that. I don’t think it’s anything we’re doing, or modeling to her . . . I don’t complain much any more, and haven’t for a long while, about aches and pains. Mainly because during the past ten months, they’ve disappeared. I’ve racked my brain and thoroughly examined any behavior of mine and Rukan’s that she’s seen, and I don’t see a link. So we figured, it can’t hurt to take her to see somebody.
Jane’s room was a child’s treasure trove of little shiny plastic things, puppets, toy animals, art supplies and – oh, JOY! horses. When we came back into the room a while later, there was a herd of horses standing in a group on the floor, all facing the same direction, grouped according to color. At the front of the herd, facing them, was a princess with a sword lifted above her head, as if about to attack. Hmmmmmmmmm.
After three sessions, the adults will sit down sans enfant and have a little talking-to about what’s happening in our sweet child’s dark and twisted mind. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get some pictures posted of her, as she metamorphoses into new phases of Rocky-ness.