fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends! I hope you had a happy and healthy holiday.

This year, for Thanksgiving, I came up with a brilliant idea. My brilliant idea was this: Most of my neighbors down toward this end of the street were staying home for the holiday and did not have family coming to visit. But all were planning to make a big ol' meal. Big meals lead to leftovers, so my thought was, I'd have all my neighbors over for a big leftover potluck on the Friday right after Thanksgiving. Brilliant. They all said they'd come by. I cleaned, shopped, rearranged furniture, polished glasses, pulled weeds, bought flowers, baked three extra desserts, cooked four extra game hens, bought ice, dropped into the Salvation Army several times over the past weeks to hopefully scrounge up half-way presentable serving dishes...you know the routine when you expect lots of company.

I expected around 20 people. And 2 showed. After they left, I was left with the Nancy from Seventh Grade lunchroom, in assigned seating at a table where none of the other girls liked me. They had every reason not to like me: I came from a different school. And I was weird. It was entertaining to natter and titter and chuckle behind their peanutbutter-and-jelly-on-Wonderbread at my expense. For them. Less entertaining for me...

"It was a fantastic party, Mommy! Everything looked great!"

"But nobody came," I said.

"Well, it was their loss. They missed out. It was the best party."

Who is this little girl? 

"You need to be more confident, Mommy. You're great!"

Who is this little child? She is so young, so little compared to other girls her age. And so...wise..? So very wise.

Every last run to the grocery store, every moment spent dusting and polishing and vacuuming, every embarrassed "oops, sorry I missed it..." text I got the next day, was worth this very moment looking into my girl's big brown eyes. I am so very thankful.

Anna relayed to me recently, that some kid at school asked her why she dressed "that way," why she dressed "weird." 

 She answered (without missing a beat), "Because I am awesome. And because I am awesome, my clothes need to be awesome." (If you could only picture the great amount of sass, what we call "Annatude," that Anna put into this statement...). I don't dress her, haven't for years: She picks out her own outfits every morning and she has plain jeans and t-shirts from which to choose. Inevitably, she's got on crazy colorful knee socks, high tops, a fluffy patchwork skirt, a shirt of ten different colors...well, you know how I sew... As my girl approaches middle school age, I worry greatly that something--such as Seventh Grade lunchroom girls--will come along to kill this spirit, douse this sparkle, tarnish her shine, diminish her giant radiating aura, deflate her natural happiness. I hope she continues to be her own person, follow her own quirky drumbeat. I really do.

This is a new little outfit for her: A pair of Cardiff pants and the shirt is a bit Frankenstein...Quiara and Antonia, I believe... The knits are from Banberry Place. Just luscious stuff.


katherine h said...

Oh, I wish I could have come for potluck. Your story brought misty tears to my eyes...as I am in the throes of planning a party. I have been a bit brave and invited acquaintances as well as friends. You know, the people you have been chatting to for years but never made that next step in the friendship process...an invitation. Invitations are to be treasured.

Anna is only so awesome because she has an awesome mother. The especially awesome thing is that she realizes it at this early stage in her life.

And on the upside...you will have a lovely clean house this week.

mooi hoor... said...

I'm so sure she'll never lose that spirit. She might explore some other threads in the years that come, but eventually she'll always return to who she is.

I wish we could have come! We would have brought along the "tiroler speck" (Peter bought 1,5 kilos...I'm taking bets on how long we will need to gobble it up) with horse radish and 2 bottles of red. It would have been so nice!

Tina said...

Oh Nancy,

that's a shame!
Invite us next time, we will drive down from SF and bring our stuffed turkey breast leftovers to share ;-)

I think your Anna will be still the same in middle school.
We moved here 9 months ago, and yesterday, my daughter talked about a group of girls in her 7th grade, they are all dressed in skinny jeans and black tops -but not my daughter. My husband asked her if she wanted to have the same clothes to "fit the group", and she told him: I don't want to join their group and dress in their way of style, they choosed ME to be their friend!
That's self confidence - your daughter will be the same way, I' m sure (and they will admire her for that!)

I wish you a lucky holiday season,

Sacha la Bastide said...

Love the new outfit! Love your idea of a potluck too, and can very well imagine how you must have felt... But what wise words from your beautiful daughter! I have a nine-year old Anna too, who -luckily for me- still choses bold patterns and colours for her homemade clothes. Let's hope they keep dressing `weird' and feel confident about it for a long, long time!

Kind regards,
(zolderwerk.les-bastides.nl / www.les-bastides.nl)

Miss K.P.-Ness said...

Wow. I am crying. For reasons I have come to you sobbing before and you have held me and told me it will be okay. And then it was. Sometimes the world leaves little black spots on our souls and then people like you come and shine them off. Anna will be one that shines. Not one that leaves spots. She may have to suffer a few spots on the way. You will heal those spots for her. I will help in any way I can. I will do what I can to protect her from the meanies. My weapons of choice are chalk and glitter.

Kim said...

My daughter at age 9, on her way to the opening of an art show, dressed in a maroon velvet mid-length flowy skirt, a chocolate brown vest over a multi-colored striped shirt and mis-matched socks topped off with ankle boots. My daughter at age 9, talking confidently with the artist about her use of materials and technique. My daughter at age 14, 18, 21, 25... everyone talks about how she has her "own style". So true. So true. I'm thankful for her self-confidence (so unlike me, who had experiences similar to yours) and poise. I would hope the same for your darling daughter in the years to come.

I'm getting used to people saying they will come and then not showing up... We are living in a culture where people hate to disappoint you -- to your face, that is. They have no problem doing it behind your back. *sigh* We are still making/eating pizza from the ingredients I bought a few weeks ago for a pizza party that never materialized because nobody came...

But the next time, maybe they will come. I'm ever hopeful :)


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