Culture Club was the first band that I fell in love with. Never in my life had I seen anyone like Boy George. Although I must have been slightly crazy, I thought he was just the coolest person ever. I wanted to wear clothes like him, try to style my hair like him, I even owned a hat just like his. At the ripe old age of 10, I didn’t even understand what being “gay” was. Although, I knew he was, I figured it must mean you are pretty darn awesome. I was OBSESSED with them. I have no idea how my parents put up with me.
One of the many items I owned was a Colour By Numbers t-shirt - I loved it. I lived in it for a long time. It had a few holes in it, so as much as it pained me, I gave it to my teddy bear (in 1985!). My teddy bear was a gift from my next door neighbor when I was 4 years old. He (yes it’s a boy) is about 3 feet tall and is probably the oldest possession of mine. He has been my friend, my sleeping companion and my protector. He moved with me when we relocated to a new city when I was 10 years old. He always had a spot in my bedroom. He may have become a chair sitter along the way when he was no longer needed as a bed buddy. He made the move with me when I got married, he even had his own bedroom. When Ashley was born he became a permanent fixture in her bedroom. She never showed him much interest, as she was always a baby doll kind of girl.
Imagine my shock when just a few short weeks ago, my 10 year old daughter came downstairs wearing my Culture Club t-shirt. She of course has heard stories told by my mom about my crazy obsession with them. My mom constantly reminds me how her and my dad let me wear anything I wanted, no matter how ridiculous it was, because it was just my way of expressing myself. The 10-year old Heather is hidden pretty deep down inside – because I just can’t fathom letting Ashley put outfits together to let her express herself. God knows she tries. Sometimes, she is successful – sometimes I send her right back up the stairs to find something more “mom approving”.
I am working on loosening up some. She told me that my old t-shirt is now one of her favorites. When I see her wear it, it reminds me of those care-free days when I was her age. She is slowly bringing that 10-year old little girl inside of me out. I know I need to let her become her own person. Good or bad – she has to make choices that are right for her. Will I always agree with her – no – but I can give her the support and encouragement to be a strong, independent girl who can make the right choices. I can make sure she is comfortable in her own skin. I admire her self-confidence. She doesn’t try to “fit in” at school, she has always just done her own thing.
Yesterday, she surprised me again with a DVD concert of Culture Club Live in Sydney she borrowed from my mom’s house.
We sat and watched the concert together and she is their newest fan! She even asked if I could get some of their songs for her iPod. Her favorite song is “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”. Yep – that little lady certainly does take after her momma, and I couldn’t be happier.