Monday, February 13, 2012

My Mouth Drops Closed

“Nana will be so proud of me that her mouth will drop closed.”
                                                               --Maureen Rose Seyfried 1993
You’re a character, Rosie.

But then you’ve always been one.

A flood of memories of small “Mo.” You wanted to grow up to be a clown, a farmer, or a recess aide. Your reaction to being sent to your room: “I’ll go, but only if you’ll let me SLAM MY DOOR.” Your ability, even at 6, to shock: “Mom, you know what I think is a great idea? Teenager pregnancy!” You went to “reform school” (actually Reformed Church Nursery School. That one raised a few eyebrows). You had times of high and low self-esteem: “I’m confident because I’m competent.” “I ‘bust’ myself first so no one else gets a chance to.”

You were a tiny spitfire with eyeglasses and curls. As my third child, but first girl, you had many of the traits of a firstborn: bossy, opinionated, critical, perfectionist. I can say that because I’m a firstborn too. Your relationships with your sibs were fraught with conflict. You and Evan, in particular, interacted like an incredibly dysfunctional married couple; he would tease, you would fly off the handle; you would pout, he would tease, and round the mulberry bush we went. 

Even though I wanted to throttle you at times, there was no denying your off-the-charts cuteness factor. I don’t know if it was the specs (you needed them from age 2, after eye-muscle surgery), or your low throaty voice, so jarring coming from such a little peanut…whatever it was, you won my heart, bigtime, and nothing ever changed that.

Fast-forward through school days (wish that had been an option!) You decided that you were a) a traveler and b) a businesswoman. At age 9, you opened Bon Mo Desserts, and sold really delicious homemade cookies, cakes and pies to our hungry neighbors. These goodies funded trips to London and Jamaica (what 11 year old takes her mother on vacation to Jamaica? Mine) and whet your appetite for more. 

High school brought Thailand (and your name change to Rose), college brought time in London and Italy. During that period, you worked as a Starbucks barista, in the international admissions office at Berklee, and served as a Big Sister in Boston. We never lost touch, but it was clear you had to ration your precious and rare free time. As a mom, I understood. As your #1 fan, I wanted more. 

And now I have it—in a way. Thanks to the magic of soundcloud and Youtube, I can see/hear you often, performing original songs. Facebook keeps us in contact too, as I hear about your insane current number of jobs in NYC: audio engineer, Foley artist, composer, editor, singer and the list goes on. 
Through it all, you remain true to yourself. You are a strong, compassionate, capable young woman (and yes, still a little opinionated and bossy). Inside exciting New York Rose, there still dwells precocious Mo—the girl I fell in love with the day she was born.

 I’m so proud of you, my mouth is dropping closed.

The Seattle Song