"Oh, no mama. That's awful. You have a million just like that in your closet."
I couldn't decide which was worse, that I had a million in my closet or that it was awful.
I peered at my avant-garde daughter, raised my eyebrows and contemplated her signature move of rolling my eyes.
She continued on her persuasive course.
"Mom, you have to think outside the box," she pressured. Her fingers tripped through the endless TJMaxx shirt selection, and stopped at a red fixation. "See, like this." I looked at the tiered, paper-thin drape sequined excuse for a shirt she held in her hands and then, as if touching it would convince me, she pressed it to my chest. "Nice," she said.
"Are you kidding?" I replied. I took a second look at the classic white v-neck long sleeve t-shirt I held in my left hand and stared into her big baby browns. "Sold." I'm a Diane Keaton-Annie Hall wannabe, and that will always trump what lives outside the box.
I miss deal-discovery at discount stores. No matter how wrong you are about my style, my heart dances each time you try to convince me that somewhere inside me lives a twenty-something. I miss large frappuccinos and tall caramel macchiatos. I think we're more like friends than mother and daughter, and I know that is what sucks the most about distance. I miss road rage in the green bean. All mothers understand that somewhere down the line, your baby will break free and find other characters that will take center stage. There will be other acts and other performances, most that will not include me in the cast.
But as far as friends go, I want those forever. I shouldn't have to say goodbye to anyone, child or otherwise, that ever called herself a friend. Time. Geography. Craziness. I've had many sidekicks that have involuntarily said good-bye simply because that's the direction life took them. It made sense on the outside, but never on the inside. Their absence was like one of those paper cuts that you never knew existed until you accidentally spritzed the spot with perfume.
It's my best friend that has ducked away now and that is who I miss the most. There's not even a phone that can satisfy the void. You had to go to the other side of the world where civilization is questionable at best and phone plans set you back the cost of a kidney. Whoever invented Skype is my hero, right along side the man who invented post-its. There's genius in simplicity and economy.
Daughters can be best friends. I had no clue that would be the scenario when I first wrapped you in grandma's crocheted blanket. You were just a tiding of great joy, one that I would learn would stretch my patience and my love to infinite boundaries.
So, go, dip into the aborigines society or whatever that Aussie world calls itself. Just don't turn into one.
Remember these updates from your best friend: you are Southern to the core - ain't no such word as mum; no matter what color you choose to put on your hair, you are and will always be blonde; Silas runs circles around Cody, and then Cody runs circles around Silas; I make a mean Brioche French Bread Pudding now; Len jets to work in the green bean and is living his second childhood; Logan misses you more than he can put into words; Ty needs a push into flying; Colquitt is as dangerous as ever; Bear lifts his head when he hears you on Skype; photography and writing rock; and there's never a sunrise on Mayne when I don't think of you.
So until it's time to come home or until the VISA runs out, whichever rolls around first, take care of yourself and follow your dreams.
The mama in me says "use your common sense"; the friend in me roars "kick ass!"
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.