Like most college freshman, MN Daughter spent her first year in a dorm room with a challenging roommate who had a terrible sleeping disorder and was messier than her (quite a fete considering MN Daughter’s talent for self-expression.) During the year, I received calls of desperation, but did not save her from this exacting experience; this was part of her college adventure and it bestowed upon her the gift of learning how to overcome uncomfortable challenges. Let’s face it, there are two kinds of freshman roommates: ones you love and ones you cannot stand! She simply got the later and learned a lot about patience and survival.
Sophomore year, Oldest Mutant Ninja Daughter was moving into the sorority house; this required the purchase of a new bed. I thought this was an easy enough project where we could bond and enjoy, but shortly it became apparent that I was in over my head. MN Daughter knew exactly what she wanted – a canopy bed. I was mortified. I spent hours and days trying to convince her not to go through with the purchase of a canopy bed til later when she had her own apartment – this was met with deaf ears. She had already decided that she had to have the canopy bed.
I pondered what part I had played in the creation of my own modern day Eloise? Was her state of amor-princessa the result of ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’? ’Nature’: She was a beautiful, intelligent (excellent and passionate student) and strong minded woman. ‘Nurture’: I believed that I had contributed greatly to her amor-princessa character.
As a baby, I encouraged amor-prinecssa with my incessant need to dress her in white lace and tool dresses trimmed with flowers.
As a little girl, she was quite dramatic, both in personality and in wardrobe. In the middle of a freezing down pour, I would allow her go to nursery school in a sleeveless mini-dress and rain boots (an outfit of her choosing that caused other parents and teachers to look at me as a negligent mother).
When she first went to ballet class, I was pleased that she wore a small french tutu (a gift from a lovely eccentric French friend) while the other girls were in simple leotard and tights.
In the beginning of middle school, Mutant Ninja Teenage Daughter decided she had to be a cheerleader – in no small part because of the bright and shiny cheerleading outfit! She loved the uniform, but was not crazy about the cheering.
I even found humor in her choice of wearing a tiara at special celebrations during her teen years….
A few weeks after she began sleeping on her canopy bed, she called me in tears. She hated her canopy bed: it was over the top and she felt ridiculous sleeping in it. I actually felt terrible for her, but did not run to change out her bed prescribing to the expression – You’ve made your bed, now lie in it!
A couple of weeks ago, she returned for her junior year after a semester abroad and she inherited a simple bed from the girl who lived in the room before her. When she unloaded her belongings from the U-Haul container (by herself, proudly I might add), she did not unpack her canopy bed – it remains in a U-Haul Storage facility in Massachusetts.
I would love to be mad at her over this frivulous endeavor, but realize that I harbor some of the blame for the creation of amor-princessa. I have always encouraged her to be a unique individual.
All of this reflection on ‘nurturing’ leads me to ask one question - Does anyone know someone in Massachusetts who wants to buy a beautiful and hardly used canopy bed?