My Girl

Pixeled Self-portrait in oil by Lorrin

Outside the rain is lifting. The gray of the morning drizzle fades. The sun parts the clouds and kisses the dead grass and heats up the asphalt outside my window—spring is coming. Why is it said that the calm comes before the storm when in reality, it is after the storm that there is calm?

It’s weather like this that makes me think about Lorrin, my LoLo. I don’t write about my daughter a lot. It isn’t because she’s boring, or that I don’t like her very much. Nothing could be further from the truth! I don’t write about her often because I’m fiercely protective of her.

My daughter has something—she always has, though the name of that something seems to change, advance, wither, and then changes again once something else is diagnosed. These are what diagnoses are—a freedom flag, a signal of victory, as well as a threat—something else is coming.

Once she was thought to have dwarfism—until she grew. Doctors gave me pamphlets, articles, and an introduction to the Little People of America website—that all changed once she hit the five foot tall mark (she’s five feet and one inch, now!) And then there is the other stuff—the stuff that drives her—the stuff that drives us all.

When she was around five years old, we were told she had social anxiety—severe social anxiety. Since then, she’s been diagnosed with all sorts of depressive disorders, including one known as Sad, as well as ADHD (Attention-defect/Hyperactivity Disorder), or ADD (the ADD of the above but without the hyperactive part) and Bipolar 2.

LoLo comes across as a list, a collection of reasons put with illogic. I don’t know why she has such problems. I blame myself. I blame doctors. I blame genetics or individual circumstances—I blame myself some more. This is why I don’t write about her. I don’t want this assemblage of issues to be what she is—what she is perceived to be because that is a lie.

As I’ve come to see it, a title to explain an issue doesn’t get rid of the issue—sometimes, it doesn’t even change how the problem is addressed. And why does it matter from where her abilities are born?

Her talents astonish me. She is clever—her anxiety is the catalyst. She is brilliant—her struggle is the reason. She is hilarious—sharp contrast in her life is why. I love her capabilities—strong, connective, different, and miraculous!

LoLo feels people’s pain, their joy, and their vulnerability when sitting across the room. I only feel pain when it directly links to me somehow.

Lorrin sees the world in individual pieces molded together to make a whole. I wish I did that. I wish everybody did that! To know my daughter is to open boundaries—to challenge the limits concluded about the people around us.

My daughter is beautiful and not just aesthetically, (she has the most unusual auburn hair and amber colored eyes). She’s authentic, an original, a force.

Outside, the rain has stopped. From my office window on the second floor, vivid sunlight shines on my neighbor’s house—the storm is gone.

Whenever it storms, it reminds me of my girl—not because of the gray and the dark of the sky, but because at the end of it, the world is bathed in brilliance.





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