Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mean Girl

Her name was Liv, but, henceforth, will be known as Miss Thang.

Miss Thang stood just a few inches taller than Sophia, had round hazel eyes, a stylish bob, and wore a blue corduroy coat evocative of an English schoolgirl or a character in a fairy tale. In a word, adorable.

She stood outside, on my neighbor’s porch, her tiny hands curled around the edge of the screen door, sliding it open and shut. The door looked as if it had suffered much abuse at the hands of children, quite possibly, this child.

Sophia stood on the inside, watching Miss Thang’s movements, thoroughly charmed by this person who was a part of her world. (A world that exists closer to the ground. A world of squirrels and flowers and seed pods.) Yet, who clearly had more autonomy than she and exercised it without fear of reproach.

As Miss Thang opened the door, Sophia took a step towards her, arms held out, poised for embrace. Miss Thang’s wide eyes shrank as she shouted, “No you NEVER come out.”

She was two. She meant business: The world is mine. Baby, you stay in the house full of parents and limits.

Sophia paused a second before her face broke out into a broad, dimpled simple.

Miss Thang was not to be disarmed. She became even more adamant. “NO YOU NEVER COME OUT.”

Sophia laughed with glee and lifted her shirt, baring her stomach. “Belly button,” she replied.

And so it went. Miss Thang continued her verbal assault until she caught her fingers in the door and ran crying to her mama. Sophia toddled after her, oblivious to rejection, enamored with her enemy.

I looked on, amazed and amused. Every day, she moves me.

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