Saturday, July 3, 2010

On Raising a Jordin (*or Jordan)

This is written for my dear friend, Lisa. Really, it's written for Lisa and her hubby. In a few short months, they will deliver their first baby girl. Her name will be Jordan. I just thought I might post a few words to let them know what they're getting themselves into. Buckle up, Pims. Buckle. Up.

What's in a name? The name "Jordan" (or, in our case, "Jordin") comes from the Hebrew Yarden meaning "one which descends" or "to flow down." Let's face it. It's the name of the most popular river in the Bible. Where a whole lotta famous biblical types got baptized. Including some dude named Jesus. I didn't even know that til I searched it just now on Wikipedia. Even though I promise I paid attention in Sunday School. That's research, people. Research.

I must inform you that this also means you will be naming your daughter (sweet little cherub that she will be) one of the most popular boy / girl names in the book. Don't expect to get to Pre-K and be the one and only "Jordan". Soon enough, as we do, you will have friends named Jordan. Lots of them. We have to refer to them by last name to keep up.

So. After ten relatively successful years of rearing - here's what we came up with. Curly headed (oh don't be fooled, it's tootally a perm), usually wearing sequins, not afraid to wear a tutu in public... Jordin. So far, so good. We don't go anywhere these days without a purse and a makeup pouch and possibly a spare outfit - just in case the occasion should arise to change clothes... which I should mention, she is prepared to do ANYWHERE. I guess this shows "preparation." That or I would say it pretty much screams, "DIVA!" Thus far, we have refused her a cell phone or personal assistant. Even though all the cool kids have them.

How did we arrive here? Oh come on, she was the BABY GIRL. We let her wear her "Jazmine" costume everywhere when she was three - including to the grocery store. We bought her barbies and hairbows, purses and plastic shoes. Her first pair of red sparkly "Dorothy" shoes? Yeah. She wore those everyday (no kidding) for two years. Right up until her toe poked through the front. And when that happened... who was the mommy running to every Target in the state of Georgia looking for another pair? Who?!?

More importantly, we let her be her. And if that mean tucking her underwear into the back of her Jazmine pants... so be it.

At some point, the child put on a pair of dance shoes. And she hasn't taken them off since. Ballet, tap, jazz... as long as there is music and some sort of costume involved, we're there. I kept waiting on this trend to pass... on her to become interested in soccer or karate or wrestling ... but alas, I kept on buying dance shoes.

When she was four, she started singing showtunes. Her first one was "Copacabana," to which she knew every. single. word. She sang it once to the entire city of Hiram while Mimi waited in line at the post office. Not kidding. We started calling her "JLola." We've since moved on to the "Wicked" soundtrack.

I came into the living room one day when she was six and discovered her watching a JLo video... one in which JLo recreates the whole "Flashdance" thing. And there was my Jordin, with her own chair, mimicking every single shake of the hips. I knew then that our dance career had BETTER take us to Broadway... and not anywhere else... IF you know what I mean. And henceforth, she became JLo.

So now I have a child who taps her feet during dinner, breaks into random twirls (sorry...don't know the fancy ballet word for that, J) in the aisles of WalMart... one who loves Michael Jackson music as much as she loves Lady Gaga and Madonna... and one who wasn't afraid to spray paint her tap shoes day-glo pink for the talent show this year. And as for me... I have to keep myself stashed with extra pairs of false eye lashes... copious amounts of purple eyeshadow... and a checkbook that screams in agony if we come within two miles of the dancewear store. Trade it? For nothing.

Embrace what she loves. It will embrace you.

This really doesn't fit any where else... just more proof that the desire for fake hair started early. It's still going strong.

Jlo is a dreamer of the First Order. A "head in the clouds" kinda child. This means she has an amazing imagination, sense of creativity ... and has no idea where a pair of matching shoes are... EVER. This is the child who you need to say "JORDIN!" to at dinner to make sure she is still on Planet Earth with us. We have learned to adapt. I can predict with great certainty that despite all means of preparation, she has no idea where one sandal is or the top to her bathing suit at all times. None. However, there is something to be said for dreaming big. Currently, her plan when she becomes old enough is to move "with her best friends to NYC," where they will all attend Juliard or maybe NYU and "live in a condo." Oh! And when college is over?!? Well then. It's back to Hiram - with all the BFFs in tow - to open her own dance school. Naturally.

Celebrate who she is. She will celebrate you.

Oh. She cartwheeled for like, a year solid. No kidding. It was a problem. I am not sure if this comes with the territory or not of being a "Jordin," however... I felt you should be warned.

And regarding the above picture - I cannot be held responsible for her choice of outfits or hairstyle. I can only promise that at least once a year, possibly twice, you will have to come up with an outfit that celebrates Dr. Seuss and / or be called to the school because she is violation of the dress code. What do principals know about fashion anyway? As you can see, all her friends are doing it.

So, it is my hope - that as you come to her teenage years, (as I am fast approaching with my own) you will realize what a wonderful, amazing, talented, creative child you have raised... all because she got to be who she is... Jordin. (or Jordan or Jordyn or ... you get the idea)

And there she is. Jordin. In a nutshell. Or a blog post. Or whatever.

I dream that your own will be as amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Rachael, I'm so glad to see you blogging again! It reminds me that there IS a life after babies & Facebook! I'm hoping your ambition will rub off on me!