Once upon a parenting forum, in the time of the Before (a long, long time ago), I knew a woman named Lulu.
Actually, Lulu wasn’t her real name, just her screen name. But that’s what everyone on this forum knew her as– Lulu. And everyone on this forum knew her– she was a site moderator and unapologetic alpha-female. Lots of bloggers knew her as well. Her blog, Unperfect Life, is still here. She buried her sister just days before she died herself.
Lulu passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly, just a few days after Tony died. I remember one late afternoon out the front of my purple–becoming–orange house, Fairie Sarie telling me that Lulu had died and being unable to articulate anything except “Our Lulu? From the forum Lulu?”
What resulted was just the queerest feeling– one of those sliding door anomalies, where things are shifting just beneath your surface in a whole other life. In that other life, this news gutted me. It was monumental.
In this life, I was stunned but not even surprised. The whole world had turned upside down. Of course there were going to other be casualties, other losses just as great as my own.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this post. Only that I think of Lulu– a woman I never even met In Real Life– often. I hope her kids are doing okay without their most awesome, amazing mother. Bizarrely, I credit Lulu with teaching me so many things about child-raising, so many things about life in general. About standing up for yourself and believing in your own opinion. About having compassion and empathy and a sense of humour. About treating our children they way they deserve to be treated– like the little people they are.
Lulu was, online, an absolute force of nature, and I can only imagine she would have been the same In Real Life. She was funny and honest and wise in that cool-auntie way that some women have about them.
When I look back on it, try to verbalise it or write it down, the most important lesson I learned from Lulu sounds silly and simple. It’s more an attitude than a ritual. And I still put it into practice sometimes now, five years after I ‘met’ her for the first time.
Some days, its both useful and practical to vacuum the house in a tiara.
Because you are a motherfucking princess.
And why the hell not.