If she knew then what she knows now...
I found this picture at my dad's house in a box full of millions of others mixed in with a handmade Christmas card. On it I had written "merry chirstmas Dad. I love you" 8 different times. And then in the middle on the bottom had written "SORRY for spelling CHRISTMAS wrong Dad. I love you"
He keeps everything. And I love that about him.
I'm petting a cat and wearing Oscar the Grouch slippers. Petting a cat (though delicately - check out how I'm barely touching it with my left hand) is serious business b/c I'm deathly allergic to them. Something tells me my brother put me up to this one. "Kate - go outside and pet the feral cat that's wandering through our backyard. And I'll take your picture" Because have you seen the expression on my face?
Better yet I was probably playing outside (my parents were divorced by now and my dad could care less what we wore inside or outside the house- note the plaid shorts and print covered shirt) and I saw the cat, got all excited and my dad said "hold it right there, I'll get a picture. The ER is going to need a "before" image" and then forgot to center me in said picture.
I love this little girl. The one that didn't know her mom was going to marry an asshole of a stepfather who would ruin her childhood. She didn't know then that her own father would need a police escort to pick her and her brother up for visitation b/c the stepfather was crazy and would chase after her dad when he dropped them off on Sundays.
She doesn't know yet that she'll spend a large percentage of time in her room alone watching a small black and white tv during her teenage years. Too afraid of the family room b/c Dave would be there and most likely yell at her for something. Anything. Or demand that she go get him a soda from the fridge or change the channels on the tv. She'll be called stupid, dumb, a selfish bitch, ugly. She'll grow up afraid to speak her mind b/c most likely what's she's thinking is wrong. She'll witness her brother getting beaten by Dave b/c her he chose academia over sports. She doesn't know that her brother will move out when she's in fourth grade and she'll be forced to grow up as the only child. A sole target to his abuse. She'll witness her mom continually being beaten by an uneducated fat ass of a husband and wonder why her mom just doesn't leave. She'll wake up at night to their fighting and fall asleep wishing he would die. And when the fighting gets really bad, she and her brother will hide outside, together underneath a tree promising to take care of each other and planning how they could run away together. She'll graduate early from high school for the sole reason of getting out of the house 6 months sooner. Her mom will apologize over and over and over for the hell she had to go through. And the girl will harbor a resentment towards her mom for years to come.
25 years from that picture the girl still won't understand her mother's reasoning for staying with such a fuckhead. But she'll love her mom the same as she did, if not more than when she was 6.