We bought an IPad a couple weeks ago and it has been a hot commodity. Mihiretu plays Angry Birds, Mae plays Spellcraft and Lana, it turns out, uses it for a purpose all her own.
She asked for the IPad last night before she went to bed. Much later, after Ben had tucked her in, he brought it to bed with him. While I read my novels, he surfs craigslist for strange and varied vehicles (“Look, honey, at this old school bus!” or “That’s a cool pick-up” or “Nobody wants the big Airstreams”). This has long been his favorite pastime, first with the computer, then with his IPhone and now, hallelujah, with an IPad. He’s come a long way, baby.
As he turned on the IPad, he saw several videos on the desktop, all of Lana’s face.
There is a Justin Bieber imitation. She’s not a fan – I don’t believe she’s ever even seen a video – but Justin Bieber is this year’s Miley Cyrus so the second graders are all atwitter. In these she’s naked from the waist up (her favorite outfit, really, and what she deemed most Bieberesque). She speaks as if she has a heavy cold, her accent is vaguely Southern. Her hair is swept across her forehead in a cunning imitation of his famous locks.
She says, “Hi, I’m Justin Biebah and I’m gonna SING for ya. But first I have a few words to say.” Here she brings her hands in front of her face in desperate upturned claws, her face contorts with pain and she moans “Nevah say NEVAH!” She drops her hands, relaxes her face, sweeps her hair across her forehead and says, matter-of-factly, “And I just said ‘never” so I should go to jail shouldn’t I? Well, first I’m gonna sing my song and then I’m gonna march to jail.”
Then, nostrils flaring, she sings tunelessly, expressively, “Oh, this is my song. It’s my best one so far.” And it goes from there, something about “I’ve got a chicken and I’m saying HEY!”
My favorite video, I think, is an extreme close-up. She says, very simply, by way of introduction, “I am a girl but I have a very funny name. You will hear it in this song many times. Heeeeere we go.” Her brows draw together, her eyes widen and her voice deepens as she sings, “Bob, Bob, Bob, that is my name. Robert, but Bob for short. Bob, Bob, Bob, that is my name but” here she pans out to a wide shot and her voice raises three octaves “I am a GIRL!”
The best thing about these videos is that she is alone. She has no audience beyond herself and so what we see is very pure. Purely goofy, yes, but here I have evidence of the essential Lana.
The world sees a blond, blue-eyed child, generally quiet in public, seeming particularly so in contrast to a brother who is always either racing, jumping, climbing, teasing or screaming. Acquaintances, until they truly know her, imagine her as docile. In fact, she is possibly the strongest personality of the bunch – and that’s saying something, given the bunch. She is publicly reserved and privately outrageous. She is my secret extrovert while Mae, who strikes the world as bold, is my secret introvert. Mihiretu, of course, is no secret.
I will treasure this bit of – what is it? video? bytes? IPad magic?. Whatever it is, I will hold it close so I can remember this covertly wild girl, this angel with the devilish sense of humor.