Oh, crap. I'm the mother of that girl.
Seeing as my geeky blood runs through Savannah's veins, I assumed she would struggle socially in school like I did. I figured it was a give-in that girls would tease her and boys would virtually ignore her, save for that one time Johnathan Green would express a desire to take a bath with her (the social highlight of my entire elementary experience and possibly even middle school).
But, alas, I forgot. She is half Chris. Which means she is half Football Captain. Half Homecoming King. Half "Most Likely To Get Highlights". Half effortless social butterfly.
While Chris tackled linebackers and then cheerleaders in high school, I spent my high school years being home schooled by my mother while wearing tasteful knee-length skirts.
While Chris competed in bodybuilding competitions as a teenager, I gorged myself on Doritos while watching Dream a Little Dream and reading Ramona Quimby.
While Chris got invited to all the keggers, I once wrote in my diary at 14 years old "I went to my first boy girl party tonight!!! Although, I'm not sure if it counts because there was only one boy there. And he only stayed a few minutes. Plus, my mom came."*
While Chris has always had a natural relaxed coolness about him, I am the girl perpetually throwing myself over kayaks.
We're only two weeks into Kindergarten and it is obvious whose genes are more dominant in our daughter. On the second day of school, two moms approached me and said their little girls "just have to have a playdate with Savannah. They talk about her all the time".
On the third day, another mom laughingly told me that her daughter saves a hook for Savannah's backpack next to her own, guarding it with her life until Savannah arrives.
And yet another mom said her daughter cried when we were one minute late because she thought Savannah might not be coming.
By last Friday, two moms told me that their sons have crushes on Savannah, one of them telling his mom "I can't stop thinking about her. She's just so pretty". (!!???!!)
And today, as we walked up to the class, a mom announced "Here comes Miss Popular!".
Yeah. This is my daughter.
I can't tell you how happy this makes me to see Savannah thrive socially in her first little public venture. But, the thing I can't stop loving is her attitude about it. Shoulder shrugs. Nods. Seeming indifference. Like "yeah, isn't it like this for everyone?"
Can I tell you how absolutely foreign this is to me?
I will admit that my social life picked up quite a bit around 17, once I learned that you can use a curling iron for straightening your hair. But, being a popular girl has never come naturally to me. And during the times in my life where I have felt liked by many and dated a lot and went to lots of parties, I was filled with anxiety. Anxiety that I didn't deserve this popularity on my own; just for being me.
I felt like I needed to keep dancing for everyone or they would leave.
My one true wish as a mother has been for my daughter to always feel worthy. To always dance for herself. To always be her own best friend. Terrifying me the most was the possibility that it may too take her until her 30th birthday to finally love herself enough to stop dancing for other people.
I know we've only just begun this part of her life without me, but already I see her dancing for herself.
I could not be more proud.
Now, maybe she can get me invited to the cool parties.
*I am not even kidding about this entry. Once I finish unpacking and find that diary, I'm showing you. With the hearts above all the i's. And the "I HEART River Phoenix" on every single page.