More than ten years ago, I met an energetic extraverted girl who raised her hand in class. “I go to dance class with Meghan, Hannah’s cousin,” she said, looking at me with a smile. Indeed, she did. I knew that because my mom told me that one day before school. However, just that small moment brought me together with Babygirl. We were best friends for a long time, and we still are at heart, I believe that with all my might. We may be separated by a large basin, but we still talk through social networks and keep up with each other through messages.
Babygirl and I had tons of sleepovers in the tiny trailer owned by her family. While I don’t remember the first time I met Ms. Lisa, I do remember thinking she was odd. My little kindergarten eyes looked at her curiously. Her knees were always bent. Didn’t it hurt walking like that? I thought. She was short for a full grown woman, too. Maybe she had an accident, I told myself. Maybe she was born like that. No one explained it to me. Ms. Lisa just was what she was. Her voice sounded different from anyone else’s, too. Sometimes, she didn’t pronounce words all the way. It sounded like she had a lisp that didn’t connect some of the consonant sounds. My ears tilted in her direction. What did she mean? But after spending lots of time with Babygirl and Ms. Lisa, Ms. Lisa’s voice and walking style became absolutely normal. Their home became a second one to me. We ate croutons, Doritos, and cheese out the can. Lots of nights were spent before the TV, game controllers in hand with the stereo system blaring noises from pocket monsters crying out.
We rode in the car a lot with Ms. Lisa who had good control over the car despite her bent knees. Babygirl and I traveled with her to her work as a nurse. Sometimes we’d stay in the car and search for Pokemon in the clouds. Other times, we climbed up the stairs with Ms. Lisa to drop off paperwork. We climbed the stairs quickly, but also waited for Ms. Lisa before entering the door. I don’t remember ever running from Ms. Lisa, but Babygirl and I did walk more quickly than Ms. Lisa. Sometimes she called out for us to stop and wait. We usually did wait for her. The only time I can remember running was when Babygirl came tumulting from the living room. Her father had yelled at her again. I don’t remember him being particularly abusive, but I remember he had a huge impact on Babygirl. He yelled at her for multiple reasons, most of which I can’t remember. I can only remember her sobbing, slamming her door, and wanting to be alone for a while. I’d sit there unsure of what to do. Most of the time, I’d set up the next game we planned to play or just move the mouse around on the computer, playing the Putt- Putt car game or the sea game. We created many balls with a strobe light and music, where we danced with Ron and Harry until she grew out of her Harry Potter crush and I didn’t find Ron attractive anymore.
Ms. Lisa and Babygirl fought a lot, too, but in a different manner. Ms. Lisa tried to give Babygirl lots of kisses, but Babygirl would run away. They fought over the computer game sometimes, both trying to play the same game and beat the level first. Babygirl attempted to steal food and run away without getting caught. A lot of laughter came from these mini-wars. Their relationship seemed more like casual friends than my relationship with my mom. I didn’t understand how Babygirl could fight her mother for anything, even a game. I surely would have been fused at or my mom would have asked, “Why are you fighting me? Don’t you love me?” Still, these fights with laughter were the ways Babygirl and Ms. Lisa bonded. They couldn’t bond with physical activities. No offense, Ms. Lisa, but seeing you do karate would probably make a lot of people laugh, including Babygirl. Imaging you breaking a piece of wood by kicking it is an interesting sight. Ms. Lisa’s limited mobility might have prevented Babygirl and Ms. Lisa from exercising together and from sharing sports, but they still connected in a bond I’m not sure I understand.
I have a “I only call on Sundays unless I need something” rule with my parents. I’ve kept this rule in place for the past five years since I left for a residential high school. It’s worked well for me although my mom complains and says I should call more. I live an hour and a half away from home right now, and I usually never come home except for the occasional break. I’m partly ok with this, except for the fact that I miss my hometown, dislike Baton Rouge’s traffic, and do miss my family (including pets). Regardless, I don’t spend mother-daughter days with my mom, and spending those days with my mom would be awkward. I have no idea what we would do, especially considering I’m always up to something for school or always have some interest I want to pursue. My family has accepted these pursuits and has just let me go discover the answers I want. I guess I don’t make enough time for my family, really, and I’m probably really a horrible daughter for saying this, but I’m ok with the time I spend with my family although it isn’t a lot. One day I hope I can return to my hometown and raise a new family with my family, but I guess I’ll have to see where my job searching takes me.
However, from reading Ms. Lisa’s blog, those mother-daughter days seem to do a lot for both Ms. Lisa and Babygirl. They keep each other in-check. I’ve seen it happen in real life. Ms. Lisa used to warn Babygirl not to talk back to people, just let it go, especially when the neighborhood kids try to start a mess. It seems Babygirl is now doing the same for Ms. Lisa. From what I can tell, their bond has grown stronger and they rely on each other for multiple reasons.
I’ll admit I haven’t been around Ms. Lisa and Babygirl too much for the past many years. Just thinking of them going through a rough time makes water droplets swell in my eyes (LIKE NOW! STOP EYES JUST STOP!). Babygirl and her depression…I didn’t even know…I can definitely tell she changed, but I wasn’t around to see it. She’s become more reserved yet still has outlandish ideas around her friends. We went to different middle schools, and then different high schools. I flew away to Natchitoches and left everyone at home. When I heard about the divorce, I couldn’t believe it. I kept telling myself it didn’t actually happen. It was just temporary. They would work things out. They were a family, a part of my extended family, too. It wasn’t until Babygirl bluntly said it and I slept over a few times at Ms. Lisa apartment that I realized it was really true. Even though I wished it would get better, it didn’t get better in the way I wished. It became better in a different way, a way that is working well, despite Ms. Lisa’s crazy banking and medicine catastrophes. I hope it continues this way and it gets even better. Hopefully, I’ll still be a part of their lives and get to see their successes and happiness through whatever challenges come their way. And one day, I hope I can go on one of their adventures, too. Until then, stay well Babygirl and Ms. Lisa. ^_^ http://tigerunie.blogspot.com/