Lana is a piece of work.
Every morning, a good half hour before it's time to leave for school, I have her dressed, hair done (which involves dunking her head in the sink and then parting and combing meticulously), and socks on. Even so, when I yell from the bathroom through a mouthful of toothpaste, "Okay, kids, time to go!", at least half the time Lana decides she needs a different outfit or throws herself on the floor because a last minute glance in the mirror has confirmed her suspicion that her hair is "lumpy" in the back or, at very least, changes her socks and spends five minutes getting the heels exactly in place. When Ben and I went away a couple weeks ago, I forgot to warn the babysitters of this phenomenon and both reported that they arrived a half hour late for a commitment (school, soccer) because Lana lost her mind on the way out the door.
Today she quit soccer for the second (and final) time two minutes before practice because her toes felt squeezed by her cleats. The same cleats that she's been wearing for weeks, but no matter. She also quit last Sunday, reason unknown. I'm not falling for it again so suddenly our calendar is stunningly open.
She is so many things, my Lana. She's reading far above grade level, she's polite (in public), she seems to make friends easily, she has an eye for color that's not to be believed. And she's (privately) sassy, inflexibly fastidious and a real drama queen.
She's not necessarily a people-pleaser, my Lana. While I, generally speaking, will smile and apologize myself into a lather to win a stranger's good opinion, Lana is a more self-goverened dominion. She has friends at school but she doesn't seem to NEED friends at school. She's perfectly happy playing by herself. While Mae is an open, melting heart, Lana is cooler, more removed. I admire that quality, I have to say. I often wish that I cared a little less about what people thought of me. She's like one of those girls in high school who could sit placidly inside themselves and watch the rest of us geek ourselves silly.
And so I have this complex concoction of a girl. This cocktail of sweet, salt and rocket fuel. And I have to ask myself once again, for the tenth time today, the hundredth time this week, the millionth time since we first gazed at Mae in wonder, where the hell do these people come from? How do they develop into these complicated creatures? All I can do, most of what I can do, I guess, is hang on and enjoy the ride, because it, all of it, doesn't seem to have a whole lot to do with me.