I spent this last weekend in a foreign land. Panhellenic land. My daughter is headed to college at The University of Alabama in August and she wants to pledge a sorority. I wasn't that type. I've had to expand my horizons and realize that I've been somewhat close-minded. It's too much. She's amazing. In spite of my groaning and moaning about the greek system, she's stayed steady in her convictions. And I have to say, I walked away at the end of the weekend, changed. I walked away convinced that this will be a very good thing for her. I walked away being reminded that my children are individuals and that she, my middle child, is not me. Thank God.
So...Stevey is her name. Before she was born, her father and I debated on names. He wanted a more traditional name but I was leaning towards non-traditional names. Chloe, Zoe and even Scout were my choices. Scout was my first choice but in the end, we agreed on Stevey. Sure, I adore Stevie Nix and Stevie Wonder, but she is not named after these two musical geniuses. I guess you could say they were merely inspirations. It's strange, how a name means so much. I felt intuitively that she needed a strong, unique name without ever having met her. She was born, I nursed her, we spent time getting to know her and it became apparent that she was cautious, somewhat fearful, and so very shy and timid. And we had saddled her with a strange name, a name that would draw attention.
I have watched this girl grow throughout the years. We joke about her younger pictures. In every picture she always looked startled, like someone snuck up behind her and whispered "boo" in her ear. She rarely smiled. She was afraid of the dark, thunderstorms, mad cow disease, and plural possessives. She seemed sad, always. At the age of 10, I would tell her to brush her hair and she would sigh and say, "What's the point? It's just going to get messed up anyway."
But somewhere in middle school, about the time she had her braces removed, she blossomed. She blossomed in spite of her fears and anxiety. And she still has the anxiety, the panic, but she has learned to compensate. She's learned that facing your fears head on is the only way to make them vanish.
She's become the center of her circle of friends. She is responsible, she has goals, and she isn't afraid to pursue her dreams. Well, let me rephrase that, she is afraid but she moves ahead anyway. Courage. She's full of courage. She doesn't think so, but she has it in abundance.
I watched her walked away from me Saturday, after the daughters and parents were separated. I choked. My heart stopped. She was beautiful as she turned around a few times and glanced back, just to make sure I was still there. She was alone. She knew no one. She doubted her herself but still, she moved forward.
I have never been so proud of her in my life. I was never that brave. I'm still not that brave.
Her name is Stevey.
And she's going to move the world.