Valentine’s Day never meant a whole lot to me until my first grandaughter decided 12 years ago that the 14th of February was a good day on which to arrive in this crazy world.
Happy Birthday Kenzie, our beautiful Valentine girl.
I ask my five year old granddaughter if she would like to watch a tv show with me. With a five-year old, there’s a way to do this to elicit the response you want. “Hey!” I exclaim. “I have a GREAT idea! Let’s watch CANADIAN IDOL!” Already she’s thinking it must be something exciting and fun. I explain to her that there will be some girls singing songs. Little girls? she wants to know. No, I tell her, they’re not little like you, they’re more like Aunt Courtney (she LOVES Aunt Courtney). I tell her that, while we’re watching, she can tell me who she likes and who she doesn’t like, and I’ll write down her comments. “I say stuff and you write it down?” She’s grinning from ear to ear. She dictates letters to her cousin that her mom writes down word for word. It’s wonderful to hear what you’ve said read back to you. So it’s a go.
I settle down with pen in hand and we suffer through the preliminaries. “Why are people talking? You said girls would sing,” she says, just a TAD pouty. And then YAY! Here comes Steffi D. Kenzie is thrilled because she has a red bow in her hair and looks like Snow White. Did you like her singing? It was nice. I like her. But I don’t like to put stuff in MY hair. Sometimes it hurts.
Next up is Ashley Coles. Grandma! She’s got on a Barbie dress and high heels! I wish I had high heels like that. (Did you like her singing?) She ponders this one. Frowns. I don’t think so. I wish she would sing like the Doodlebops. But I LOVE her dress. Can we go to the dollar store tomorrow and buy high heels? PLEASE????
When a Monster House movie trailer comes on it’s apparent that this is the highlight for Kenzie so far. Then Ashley Coulter appears on the screen and suddenly it’s time for a bathroom break. She takes off upstairs and is gone for quite sometime, and grandpa tells me later it was also a play break. I thought maybe I’d lost her for the duration of the show, but she wanders back down when Nancy Silverman is halfway through her performance. She watches some of the gyrations and wants to know if that girl is itchy. Then she tells me that she has a skirt like Nancy has on, but hers is nicer because it’s pink. I remind her that this isn’t a fashion show, and we’re supposed to be talking about the singing parts. She says okay.
Next is Eva Avila. Kenzie RAVES about Eva’s singing. I like her! No, I LOVE her! She’s a really really really good singer. Grandma, can I have a paper and a pen too? While I’m getting her stuff she tells me that she likes Farley. He has on a really nice shirt. Then she tells me she doesn’t like Zack. She says he’s weird. And she doesn’t think he’s very nice. He doesn’t smile. Farley smiles a lot.
Now there’s a “Little Man” commercial and Kenzie laughs hysterically. She wants to know if this show is on at her house too, and when is it on, and maybe mommy will watch it with her. (Ha ha – mommy will NOT be thanking me for this.) When Kati Dunst sings, Kenzie is busy “taking notes”. I ask her how she likes this singer. When she looks up she tells me that there’s a whole lot of people there and she would be really nervous if she had to sing with all those people looking at her. I agree with her, it would be scary. But do you like Kati? Yep. She goes back to her notes.
Finally up is Sarah Loverock. Kenzie thinks her name is funny. She is very impressed with her jean jacket. She says Sarah can sing really loud. Can she go back upstairs now? I convince her to stay for the recap, and she squeals in delight “There’s that girl with the red bow! There’s the Barbie one!” The rest don’t get comments. I ask her who she likes the best, and she says for sure it is the girl with the jacket. Sarah. She has a friend named Sarah. But her last name isn’t funny.
I ask Kenzie if she wants me to read her comments back to her, and she politely declines. So I ask her if I can read HER notes. No problem. Here you go, grandma.
“It’s a butterfly in the grass. He has lots of legs.” Well, aren’t you the little multi-tasker. No honey, that’s not a bad word, it just means you’re very smart because you can do two or three things at once. I’m rewarded with a huge smile. If you watch the boys sing tomorrow night with your mom, make sure to take notes for me! She promises she will.
The top picture is me and D. at camp, 1974. Bottom picture is D. and Kenzie, 2001. There was something so familiar about the second one that it prompted us to go searching for the first. I now have them both in the same frame, and it’s one of my favourites. If Kenzie ever has a daughter, I expect we’ll force her to wear her hair like this and carry on the pose.
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