She is small, but fierce.
A hurricane, swirling
from a just-hatched
A boundless ocean,
roiling in a drop of
born from a
She is a force
to be reckoned with,
but the only reckoning
to which she’ll be subject
is her own.
The inspiration for the poem above is my partner’s daughter, Lala. She absolutely is all of those things, and more. Lala is equal parts trial and delight; a balance of heart-bursting wonderful and hair-pulling challenge. Parenting her is not for the faint of heart.
Lala arrived on this plane of existence with her own agenda. While that’s at least partially true for all of us, she seemed surer than most, and at a younger age, that once she got an idea in her mind, she was going to see it through. Lala is strong-willed, with a huge heart. She is a small package, filled with big emotions, and like many of us, she doesn’t always know what to do with all of those feelings.
As I mentioned in a previous post, both Lala and her little brother, Bubs, were adopted from foster care. If you have personal experience with state-run care, or even if you don’t, you might have the general idea that means that they had a potentially tumultuous start in life. While Stacy and his then-partner, and their families, did their best to provide a stable life for both kids, because of the nature of the system, there were still some bumps along the way. For example, mandated visits with their biological parents (which is an explicit part of the goals of family reintegration of children who have been taken into state care). Lala was old enough by the time the visits ended that she still remembers their biological parents. Bubs does not, for better or for worse.
The fact of remembering, and sometimes missing, her biological parents is one loss Lala deals with. She also has lost contact with foster siblings she still considers her sisters — another loss. When the only family she’s ever lived with split up, that was yet another loss piled on her, at a young age.
Some people would tell you that’s what life is: learning to deal with loss.
In spite of the losses she’s faced, or maybe, at least partially, because of them, Lala has a larger-than-life heart, and endless love for all those whom she holds dear. She is quick to forgive ‘most any transgression. She draws frilly, bejeweled and stickered love letters and note to every member of her family, and to friends, as well. She picks “flowers” to give to her parents.
It’s difficult for her, balancing the tumult and wonderment of life. But isn’t the true for us all?
As always, I invite your thoughtful comments.
Thank you for reading.