I absolutely adore this picture of Miss D.
Do you know why? Because, to my despair, most people don't think Miss D. looks anything like me. In fact, when she was a baby, I got the following remarks from anonymous folks in public places:
"Well, shoot, your DNA sure didn't translate, did it?"
"Oh Wow! You adopted a Shanghai baby, too?"
"What an adorable little girl! What country did you get her from?"
I mean, asshole remarks aside, I have a tiny streak of vanity that wants SOME part of my child to look like me. I can't help it. I just feel that way. And it hurt my feelings when people looked at Miss D., looked at me, looked back at Miss D. and then shook their heads, perplexed.
Unbeknownst to them, however, Miss D. does resemble me. Need proof?
I know, right? Lucky Miss D. got her Mama's stilt-like legs. And although I am saddened by the fact that she, like her Mama, will probably have to endure the nickname "Flamingo Legs," I am also pleased to see some part of me represented in this little human I grew for 9 months.
My legs aren't quite so scrawny any more, but when I was a kid, it was a problem.
My mother is still indignant, to this day, about a phone call she received on the first day of school in a brand new city:
Lady: "Ummm, yes, is this the mother of (pause and slight riffling of paper)...Dana? In Mrs. ______________'s class?"
Lady: "Well,ummmmm, I'm calling, Ma'am, because Dana is sitting here in the front office? She's scheduled to be in gym class but the gym teacher?"
Lady: "Well, Ma'am, the gym teacher just wasn't real sure if your child could participate in regular gym activities? You know? With the frail legs and all?"
Mama: Long pause. "Are you telling me that the gym teacher thinks my daughter is deformed?"
Lady: realizing the shitstorm she just walked into... "Well, ahhhhh, I can't say anything about whether she thought that, mind you...but has your daughter been ill recently? Is that it?"
Mama: using that icy Southern tone... "I will have you know that there is nothing wrong with that child! She is just very small boned... And she's very active and just doesn't hold onto any weight, but I can assure you--she is certainly NOT deformed or sick. Lace up the gym shoes and get her back in there NOW."
Lady: "Er, ok, Ma'am, I'll pass that on. Thankyoubye."
Boy, Mama was steamed. And after that little incident, Mama started making me an Orange Julius every day after school, because obviously, someone needed a little meat on her bones.
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon powdered milk*
2 tablespoons honey or powdered sugar**
1 teaspoon vanilla
6-8 ice cubes, depending on the size
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whirr until frothy.
* I don't really think you need this; Mama just threw it in to try to fatten me up. I bet some vanilla protein powder (something we didn't have back then) would probably ramp up the nutritional value.
**This version is not nearly as sweet as the version you can get at the mall...just a warning! So if you need the sweet--add another tablespoon or two of honey/sugar.
Serve to any child who is so moth-eaten scrawny that people assume illness or deformity.
P.S.: This Orange Julius is delicious, but I do not guarantee results. Children who have legs like Whooping Cranes often remain so for the rest of their natural lives.
P.S.S.: Miss D., little minx, I apologize. There's no denying where those gams came from.