A Girl Named Holly

Holly is particular. There is nothing in our house that is not organized. No toy is without purpose, no utensil is without its place. As soon as something in the house no longer has a place, it finds its way to the donation box. 

Holly is a donator. She is good at giving to others. She’ll be the first to make a meal for someone in need, to babysit for a friend, or to drop off a box of cookies at a neighbor’s doorstep. She tends to be a good manager of our budget…until it comes to giving gifts or providing meals to others. And if people are coming over to our house for a special occasion you can kiss that budget goodbye, because… 

Holly is a host. She is in her element when she’s making others feel at home. She focuses on making things special and turns every holiday and birthday into a streamer and dessert and balloon-filled event. She doesn’t need to be the life of the party, but she does need to create an environment where people are fed, rested, and able to enjoy the show. 

Holly is a show-watcher. She has perfected the art of the chill. She’s the first to get in her cozy pajamas, have a 4-ounce container of Ben & Jerry’s on hand, and have an episode of her latest show queued up and ready to go. 

Holly is ready to go. She gets out everyday. To parks, to Target (so much Target), to see family, to be with friends. She’s an explorer, and has developed a yearning to travel and discover and learn. She’s been to over a dozen countries because exploring recharges her, and enhances her ability to create beautiful things when she returns back home. 

Holly is home for many people, because she is loyal. Once she makes a good friend, she keeps that friend by investing her time and talents and focus into them. She’s loyal to me and to her daughters, she’s loyal to her one go-to order at her favorite restaurants, and she’s loyal to the people and things that she knows she likes. 

Holly likes food. She is a chef and a purveyor of fine foods and establishments. She is refined, and someday when our kids are grown we’ll wear nice clothes and eat at nice restaurants every night, and she will be in her zone. Quality is something Holly appreciates.

Holly is underappreciated. I say this because she’s spent most of her adult life in perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming, yet undervalued occupations: a teacher and a mother. Teachers and mothers should be paid 6-figure salaries at the least, but we all know that isn’t the case. Holly has given so much to kids of her own and kids of her communities. And something tells me that Holly’s going to change the way society views the roles of teachers and mothers, because…

Holly is a fighter. I can see a fire growing in her year after year, and I pity the societal system that she’s going to unleash that fire on to make real changes. She’s wiry and physically strong and in hypothetical battles between Holly and x, I usually pick Holly. Being the 4th kid in her family may have done a number on her, because it seems that she always has a punch inside of her, waiting to strike. 

Holly has an eye for striking design. She makes things around her look better; birthday invitations, furniture layouts, book illustrations, bedroom walls. With little formal training, Holly is still one of the most talented graphic designers I’ve ever known, and the 300,000+ people who have enjoyed the board games she has designed would probably agree. Holly makes everything around her more attractive.  

Holly is the most attractive person I’ve ever met. She is small with baby-deer eyes that make you want to give her the world. Lips that make you lose your mind. Brown hair that falls right into place long or short, curly or straight. And a face that betrays a look of someone who knows much, but isn’t afraid to keep some of it a secret. Holly is a dreamgirl. 

Holly is my girl. She’s the stability to my scrappiness, the realistic focus to my careening optimism, the depth and emotion of the past to my future-focused dreams. She surprises me everyday because she’s full of contradictions. She’s a homebodied explorer, an inviting cactus, a nurturing independent, and a gentle explosion. I don’t know that I’ll ever figure her out completely, both who she is and who she’ll become, and I love that.

I love that I get to know Holly better than anyone. And I’m glad that I still get to spend a long, long time learning more about this lovely enigma of a girl named Holly. 


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