Mom! It's great in here!
What's making it worse for the poor girl is that her little brother Sammy is at the height of 6 year old boy precociousness and cuteness, so everybody just loves him. He's a good guy and he's funny and he's still all bright eyes about the world, and he's Little Mr. Sunshine, but it seems like Stella's worldview is Danny Price and the Loose Change song.
That's why, despite it raining for three days up north on my vacation, it was all worth it for a wonderful moment. (Never mind there were plenty of good moments --playing in the swimming hole we found, setting up our own Diet Coke and Mentos demo and other playing in the North Woods activities. But it wasn't the complete idyllic vacation -- almost all of it was rained out. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'm supposed to appreciate the elegance of nature and rain and all that live each moment in the zen crap, but this was my freakin' vacation. I've had enough of rain this past month in Milwaukee.
But after a long day road tripping sightseeing, it was finally hot and sunny out, and it was our last night there when STella asked, "Can we go to the reservoir and see the sunset?" I wanted to (because who can resist the cliche photography?) and nobody else did. So we looked around and said, "Hey everybody, we'll be back." Amazingly enough, Sammy wasn't interested.
I'd already showered, changed out of a swimsuit and had fresh, dry clothes on, but Stella still had her suit on. We jumped on our bikes and rode down.
And it was gorgeous. All chimney red and fire engine orange, as Tom Waits would say, except this was a sunset, and not a fire. It was that moment that looked like somebody had spilled orange and blue paint on the normally rust colored water (and this was glow in the dark paint) and Stella just ran right in. She started splashing about and literally washing herself off with that sunset. I stood there in my dry, clean clothes and conditioned hair and watched her longingly, wishing I could join her.
She must have seen that, even with her glasses off, because she even said, "You want to come in, don't you?"
"Well, yeah, but I'm all in dry clothes and such...." She cut me off. "Were you going to wear THOSE PANTS and THAT SHIRT tomorrow?"
"Well, uh, no....."
"Then what's stopping you from running in?" she asked, sounding like me when I ask her questions like, "What's stopping you from making your own breakfast?"
I popped off my glasses, put down the camera, and joined her. And we saw how cool the sunset looked against the water at water level (it's a great perspective that you have to be there to appreciate-- freakin' Monet couldn't have captured it) and we just laughed together and swam and had little races and there was not one bit of frustration or cynicism or any of that pre-teen boredom crap. There she was -- I found my funny, happy, creative, adventuresome little girl again, and I'm confident that when she learns how to tread water in this swirling cesspool of hormones that nature deals us girls, I'll see a lot more of her once again.