When my daughter was a toddler, a dad once joked to me at a Musikgarten class that he could picture her as a teenager: dressed entirely in black and writing angry poetry in a corner somewhere. As she sulked in a beanbag away from the glee-fest of triangle-banging among the other children, I laughed and told him that I presumed his son, whose list of allergies rivals the tax code in length, would be living out his teenage years in a plastic bubble. But I filed the guy’s comment in my brain somewhere between “Things to Worry About” and “Things to Really Worry About.”
These days, my daughter rages against wearing black, fearful she’ll be mocked by other children. Everything’s about pink and gold and sparkly and rainbows and unicorns with her. But she’s still got this worrisome little emo edge, one that makes Musikgarten Dad’s comment seem just a little foreboding. She’s definitely not like the kids I see on Crayola products. Ever noticed what happy little dumplings they are? It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, how they always appear to be discovering life on Mars:
Yeah, that’s not how my girl rolls. At all. During her five short years on this earth, we’ve often wondered whether it’s just her or just her age that makes her so intermittently broody. I mean, do all five-year-old girls sit at the breakfast table quietly singing made-up songs in modal tones, with lyrics like, “Everything in the world is my fault, mmm, hmmn, hmmmn, hmmmm, and all I do is clean, mmmn, hmnn, hmmn”? Do all kids her age look in the mirror and say they think they’re ugly? that they hate their hair? Granted, she’ll pepper in plenty of days when she can’t stop talking about how fancy she looks and how she’s going to be the most beautiful child at school that day, but still. Is my 5-year-old girl a little bit emo, are all 5-year-old girls a little bit emo, or are all emo’s essentially 5-year-old girls trapped in teenager’s bodies?
Mm? Hmn? What do you think?
© 2009 JLF