About four years ago, my friend Jenny decided to take a job in Texas and leave California. To say I was crestfallen puts it mildly, as she was and always will be one of my dearest friends. But she knew her future was there and so it was. She met a great guy, got married and had two more kids.
I have known her first child, Arthur all his life and couldn’t love a kid more if he were my own. I taught him how to say “Republican Rage”, the Italian flip off and how to make a mashed potato pimple (you don’t want to know). But I never met her ‘new’ kids until Thanksgiving of last year.
She and her brood came down to visit everyone over that holiday weekend and we all headed up to Santa Barbara for the family feast. Her new little boy, Maverick is one of those cuter than cute kids who at that point didn’t really talk but had a series of grunts that meant certain things, it didn’t take long to figure those out and I became a hit with him when I gave him a keychain that had a little button that turned on a light.
Then there was Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth to you cretins. For a three year old she had an amazing presence. It was clear on my first look that she knew her own mind and soon so would I. As soon as she got out of the car, she stared me down with her unwavering gaze as if to say, “Who is this broad?” The fact that I have a little dog who is cute as a button fared well for me with QE and I guess she decided she liked me.
Elizabeth is a girlie girl. She likes her dresses and shoes. Craves hair ties and tierras. Purses, wallets, mirrors and probably make up if you gave her any. I figure by age 5 she’ll be donning stilletto heels and ignoring all the giggly little boys who follow her in her kindergarten class. She is a cutie to be sure. And stubborn as the day is long. Crafty too. On the drive up, she kept managing to get that little keychain away from Maverick which of course inspired blood curdling screams from little brother. Her ability to create and wear convincingly the I don’t have a clue what’s wrong face could give all the Barrymore’s a run for their money and it took a while to figure out what she was doing. And there were battles over blankets, snacks, water and so on.
Clearly, in Elizabeth’s world, all that she purveyed was hers to have and let the peasants take what was left or bored her. It’s the kind of attitude that will make her a rich and very savvy entreprenuer one day. She is a go-getter. She knows what she wants and goes after it with a venegance. I wish that when I were a child I’d been that focused and sure of what I wanted – how different my life would have been.
Throughout the weekend, Jenny and I made jokes about her queenly attitude in all its many manifestations and it is truly one of my fondest memories of that weekend. This willful and charming child stole my heart.
For Christmas, I sent her a watch (because we discovered over that weekend where Jenny’s watch kept getting to) and a variety of hair ties. Which I have been told by Jenny that she covets and guards with enthusiasm.
The other day Jen sent me the top picture and I had to laugh because I thought, “Finally she has found her crown.” And from the looks of it, couldn’t be happier in her kingdom.
So, here’s to you, my Queen, long may you reign!