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Friday, March 21, 2014

I Love Jennifer Lawrence Like a Daughter

     Why? Jennifer Lawrence reminds me of my daughter. This interview on Conan made my day. If you watch it, you’ll be dying laughing but—if you’re like me—you’ll also have a bittersweet flash of déjà vu as you recall the pain of adolescence. Don’t have time to watch? Here’s the gist: Jennifer Lawrence wet the bed at thirteen years of age and then raced off to school to brag about it, thinking it was cool. MY DAUGHTER WOULD DO THIS. Yes, it defies logic. And, yes, she is a very logical person in every other aspect BESIDE the area of social graces. But my daughter wouldn’t hesitate to announce to the world that she’s a bed-wetter, a nose-picker, a toe-nail chewer--any gross thing you can imagine.
     Now, I don’t know if Jennifer Lawrence went home that day and voiced her utter astonishment that the kids at school didn’t embrace her bed-wetting amazingness, but I have been witness to many such A-ha moments with my daughter. It’s a horrible thing to see until she shakes it off and gets on with life. I don’t understand why she won't spare herself this pain. It's easy! Simply don't talk about it. When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was fit in. My deepest nightmare involved the very thing that Jennifer Lawrence described on Conan. Me, the center of attention, on the bleachers while the student body discovered some dark secret of mine. I would’ve been horrified if anyone ever found out I wet my bed when I was five, let alone thirteen. Granted, my daughter is only eleven. But still.
     “What were you thinking?” is my usual response when she tells me about the lengths she’s gone to in order to stand out. I often sink into a chair contemplating the enormity of having given birth to my photo negative. How does that happen?
     Her response is never: Gee, I guess I wasn’t thinking mom. It’s: I don’t know. 
     Translation: I was way past thinking about what was going on in front of me, and on to thoughts of next week or three weeks from now.
     She has ADHD. I forgot to mention that (although I have in other posts.) It means that she and the Border collie get along swimmingly. They are kindred spirits. Her and I? Sometimes not so much.
     Until Jennifer Lawrence came along. Now that I think about it, my daughter very well might grow up to be an academy-award winning actress who goes around astonishing people by being so comfortable in her own skin; so star-struck and congratulatory to colleagues vastly inferior to her; so lovable and real. (I bet Jennifer Lawrence could wet the bed TODAY and get a gazillion likes for it on Instagram.) She’s got the guts to say: “Photoshop my body? I don’t think so, generic magazine catering to Hollywood’s irrational whims. I’m fine the way I am.”  She tripped at the Oscars without a flinch and made it the coolest thing ever. I want to trip at the Oscars!!  Or I’ll go even further: I never want to walk up stairs the regular way again! Let’s all trip up stairs in honor of Jennifer Lawrence’s utter coolness, and when we do let’s scream: “Did you see that? I just did a Jennifer Lawrence!” 
     Right now my daughter might come off as kind of weird and completely clueless about what she is and isn’t supposed to say out loud. But there are also occasional bouts of brilliance too, which will probably translate to her career in adulthood. And people like Jen will inspire her to keep going with her gut and acting like herself.
     That’s why I not only love Jennifer Lawrence like a daughter, but I will love my daughter like she has the potential to be the next Jennifer Lawrence. Because she does.
BTW: The small thing I'm celebrating this Friday (other than JENNIFER LAWRENCE and the fact that no one wet the bed in my house last night) is that I've made the second round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.


  1. I'm thrilled to hear you're in ABNA's second round! Good luck on the next one! I've put an Asperger's 16-yr-old character in my WIP. I'm doing a lot of research on it. I know ADHD isn't the same, but I can see similarities, and it's amazing JL does so well with it. I hope your daughter gets to do everything she dreams of. :)

  2. I'm fascinated by Asperger's! It seems a bit similar, but I fear ADHD is the ugly step-sister. Definitely not as "glamorous". Luckily it's also not as hard to deal with. JL found solace in acting. For my daughter, volunteering at a therapeutic horse-riding program seems to work. If all these kids could find their passion and be supported in pursuing it, the world would be a better place.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! I am hoping to advance one round further than ever before (to the excerpt round), but making it all the way would be nice too!