Monday, November 28, 2011

On a year nearly past

Tonight at bedtime, L picked two of her favorite books: Firefighters in the Dark and Fire Truck. We read many, many firefighter books up in that bed but I particularly love Firefighters in the Dark; it's the only one in our collection that features female firefighters. I'm not sure L notices but I want the example to be there in front of her.

October 2010, throwing her head back in
excitement at our local fire station's
annual open house
She knows December comes this week, so she's been talking incessantly about her birthday. It's a firefighter-rainbow-ladybug birthday, because, well, what else would it be? Last year when she turned three she was already madly in love with all things firefighter. We always say the word that way: firefighter. It galled me so much last Halloween or at other costume-worthy moments when she was dressed in her firefighter gear, clearly a girl, a spunky, vivacious girl, and some non-thinking adult would ask her, "oh, are you a fireman?"

I probably don't need to point this out to you, but girls don't grow up to be firemen.

Throughout this year, she's still been a firefighter. On the verge of four, this is officially an interest she's carried for half of her life. Just like she's decided she is in kindergarten, she is a firefighter. Right now.

She also tells me she'll be a mommy. She's going to name her kids Sally and Nick after the kids in The Cat in the Hat. But mommies can be firefighters, she assures me. Mommies can be anything.

This girl: she does not need to be told to go be anything she wants to be. She has her plans, and if you offered her greeting-card encouragement she'd look at you with scorn. She is chasing her potential; why would you feel you have to tell her to go do something she's already doing? And then those emotions would foment and she'd grow angry at you: can't you see she's chasing her potential? What is your limitation that you haven't already observed her fierceness? You would have to apologize for your inattentiveness before she calmed down and showed you the bell on her fire truck.

I don't know what she'll do as an adult. What I do know is that in two weeks my sweet-tough girl turns four. And right now, even sound asleep, she is a firefighter.

Some things a mama just knows.

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