Lola the Lion

In the beginning of the quarter, I took Lola to school with me, not just because I missed her terribly, but because I had a portrait shot I had to take of her in the studio. I fed her chicken nuggets, played her favorite tunes, and unlike Kat, did not have to beg and bribe her to wear the appropriate clothing. She is a natural ham, loves the camera, and has regular conversations with women in various places on the latest fashions, a foreign concept to Kat and I.
She flips through clothing racks like a pro, and I just stare in amazement, thinking “THIS IS MY CHILD?”
It is a crazy thought.
They truly do come through you, not from you.
And, thank God. I can’t wait for her to be old enough to dress me.
She loved my school, the dogs she fed too many treats chased her through the art adorned hallways, jumping up and making her laugh, students stopping to admire her red hair. I wonder if I am warping them sometimes, while other times I wish I had been them.
We had Bible Studies growing up.
Kat and Lola help host bondage photo shoots.
My mom dressed up in heels on Sundays, her eyes all pretty and her lips red while she hummed to old tunes and children hyms, excited for Sunday mornings.
I believe I wore a red wig, all leather, and a tool belt to leave for a Halloween party, Lola admiring my shiny six inch heels.
Kat, one of logic and as Baby Bro says, is ready to move out into her own apartment at 8, looked me up and down, uncertain I looked like a mechanic at all.
It was Kat who tugged at my shirt while I was adjusting lights, and when I bent down to her, she whispered loudly, “Mom! That boy is wearing a wedding dress!”
I couldn’t help but gut laugh. Sometimes I can’t believe I am a real mother, especially after PTA, where I am bored to tears but go because that is what good mothers do, or at least what my mother did, I suppose. She always looked interested, raising her hand, and I doubt she were having to lock her phone in the trunk in order to not text boys during the power point presentations. I regress.
My mother was a beautiful earth mother, the kind of woman who comes alive with pregnancy and homeschool, education, school events, PTA, and carpool. She did everything a mother should do as far as our meals, education, discipline, and yet she had one teeny issue.
I was her daughter.
Nothing she could have done or did do would have changed my mind on why or how I would experience life, as a little baby she tells the story of me taking my baby finger to the light socket, staring at her, back at the socket, back to her.
“NOOOO, Katie.” She said it in her stern Mother Bear voice.
And I would wait for the opportune moment, and so my finger in the light socket moments as a baby would continue on into adulthood.
The poor woman barely survived me.
And so, I have no idea what Kat and Lola will think, but it only seems fair a rite of passage will come, to roll their eyes in complete humiliation at my quirky ways. My greatest hope is to not shape or mold any philosophy for them to adopt as their own. I am quite certain they are already the gift to the world, just as they are, and no matter the hymns or the cages, they will be completely free to see their crazy artistic mother through any lens they choose.
And so, after the lights, the posing, the packing up, shutting down and chasing her down the school, the portrait of Lola above was beautiful to me, her mommy, but my favorite was actually the one never used, as they always are. This is her in rare form, afraid, for the child is breathtakingly fearless.
It is me, a mini me, when no one is watching, reaching my finger for the light socket, the shock on her face makes me laugh every time.
I love you, Lola.
You are a piece of work, my shiny star, and my biggest fear all wrapped up in red hair, charm, and enchanting laughter.
I am holding my breath and crossing my fingers you are nothing like me, and more like your sister, but something tells me I am about to raise me, but to the third degree.
Don’t blame me for being afraid.
After what I have done to my mother, I know I should breathe deep, and be very very afraid.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Let the fingers in the socket begin………..

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