First rite of passage: the “Dear Diary” confessions

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Tricia’s got the “dear diary” giggles!

If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably picked up that Ginny was already a very thoughtful, mature young woman when we held this rite of passage.

That’s why I dug deep into my archives to find my diary with the cartoon of a puppy on the front and a flimsy lock, covered in I like Tim, I like Scott, I like Todd

Then I turned to what I confessed to my diary the exact week that I was the age of Ginny the week of her celebration.  I photocopied these entries, and that’s what I enclosed in her box.

At the event, I decided to do a dramatic reading for Ginny and assembled friends, directly from Dear Diary.  It turned out to be one of the times in my life when I laughed so uncontrollably that I could barely speak.  I got all red-faced and squeaky and laughed and snorted as I read aloud (for the first time ever, and with a 25 year lapse!) my own words—hilariously immature, heartbreakingly sweet, unbelievably superficial.

This was my gift to Ginny—a glimpse into a young me.  I wanted to give her this for two reasons.  One, I know she looks up to me as a wise and deep woman, and I wanted to show her that we all grow into our adult selves over time and with intention—we weren’t always that way.  Two, I wanted her to know that in all of her maturity and thoughtfulness and gracefulness, she was way ahead of the curve.  To that I was in awe and in celebration.

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Ginny enjoying her “auntie” Tricia

A first rite of passage: gathering the women

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three generations of “us”- Ginny, mom, and me

I want to lay down some history here. The story of creating a first rite of passage for my 14 year old daughter has a long and rich beginning, so I’ve decided to spend the first 8 or so posts breaking it into bite sized pieces. Taste and enjoy!

Who to pick? Who to pick? So many lovely, intelligent, wise women. Who to pick? Who to pick? So many interesting, fun-loving, enlivening, historied women. Who to pick? It was Ginny’s first rite of passage (and mine as well), and the criteria was slowly starting to form in my mind.

  • She has to be somebody Ginny enjoys as a person.
  • She has to be somebody Ginny looks up to in some way, conventionally, or unconventionally.
  • She has to be someone that Ginny could learn something from.
  • She has to be someone who loves Ginny- who really loves Ginny.

There were women who could fill out that list from so many places: close family, long time friends, spiritual mentors, women from our arts group, etc., but I wanted to limit myself to 9, including me. Not all the juicy, wonderful women I knew could participate in this round, but I knew that these amazing women in Ginny’s life could be included in another way that she would also deeply cherish (coming up in an upcoming blog entry!)

So I began with choosing my mother. Having the three generations of Cornett/Mammano/Schneider girls, growing together from the same family tree, all together at this event would be very special. And feeling held by her closest predecessors, would be a kind and loving act. I next thought of Ginny’s godmother, Tricia. She knew Ginny while I was housing her in my maternity clothes, she carted her in a backpack around Victoria, BC at 8 months, and she had been rooting for her with so much vigor and intention throughout her growing years. My thoughts then went to Sharon. Dear, dear friend who knew how to live out intellect, playfulness, and soulfulness, and had done just that in Ginny’s presence. Karmyn was always a favorite with both of my children. She knew how to embrace life with all of the joy, energy, and enthusiasm a human being could muster. She would definitely teach Ginny something valuable.

Her “Auntie Maril,” an honorary aunt in our little world embodied place, grace, and a combination of refinement and homespun beauty. She was a woman who was often an encouragement and a comfort in our lives. Next was Nancy. Through Montage, an artist’s group I have been a part of for nearly two decades, Ginny had been exposed to the incredible beauty, love, and wisdom of Nancy and her husband, Drew. She admired Nancy’s skill and creativity and would enjoy having her as part of this gathering. And last, but definitely not least, our friend and a-couple-of-neighborhoods away neighbor, Valerie. At the time, Valerie was somewhat of a newcomer in our lives, but I had known since the moment I met her that she was quality. She was a bright, funny, strong woman- an inspiration and a voracious reader! I now had my nine . . . I just had to ask them . . .