Sunday, August 19, 2012

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

She sparkles in the lamplight.

I asked her last week if she's excited to begin her last year of preschool. Yeah, she said absentmindedly, busy rearranging her second skin of stickers across her leg. And then: wait -- it's my last year?

She is so self-contained, this one. She only knows as much about the world as she notices and we only know as much about her inner life as she feels like sharing.

I spend a lot of reflection on how we're parenting her. She's a different creature by far from her sister, but her sister, who came first, molded us reflexively - and she with her fantasies - I can't always tell if we're meeting her where she needs us.

I took the girls to Noodles today for lunch. She needed to use the bathroom and wanted to go by herself. Her sister doesn't want to go by herself at almost two years older. So I said to them, "go together." E is so cautious that I know she'll bring them both back safely. L is a friend to everyone and she'd unhesitatingly climb into a stranger's van to pet a puppy. Puppies are great conversation starters, right? But together, even if I don't know what to do for either of them, I know how to bind the sisters to care for each other.

We're spending a lot of energy in our house on the change that is 1st grade right now, so I wanted to give honor to her last year of preschool. She won't have nerves but it will be different. Her two favorite boys are leaving her for kindergarten. She'll be queen of the class, I tell her, but I think she always has been.

She's so sure of herself, like her father. I don't understand it because it's something I've never felt, constant confidence, and I marvel at her like some mysterious wonder of the galaxies.

Maybe it's because we always put our love up past the Milky Way.

None of this is hyperbole, though, another mama waxing on the passage of time, swiftly flow those years. A few weeks ago she was making potions in the backyard. She picked up an empty glitter vial leftover from some art project I had insisted be executed outdoors and she filled it with water. Look, Mama, I'm magicking myself! she cried, as I turned just in time to watch her pour it on her head.

Now you know no glitter vial is really ever empty. At least a dozen shampoos later, she really does to this day sparkle in the lamplight.

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