As I’ve already mentioned in several previous posts (such as this one: “SO.”), my daughter is a force of nature.
When I’m not busy being utterly exhausted by her, I am completely in awe of her. There is something unique about this kid.
Emory Scout is as unlike her brother as two kids can possibly be: Gavin is typically quiet, pensive and reserved – kind of dorky and inquisitive. She’s wild, loud, vivacious, carefree and willy-nilly.
Emory Scout is always up for anything.
“Wanna go for a hike?” YOU BET!
“I’m going to make breakfast.” I’LL HELP!
“The dog needs fed.” I’LL DO IT!!
She has an boundless energy and enthusiasm that won’t quit. She’s my guaranteed activity partner, no matter what I’m doing. (This has its good and bad points. Some things, like going to the bathroom, I’d actually prefer to do alone.)
She’s also funny as hell.
And has a smile that exudes so much joy, packed in such a tiny human.
I’m saying all this, I suppose, because I need to remember it.
Emory Scout frustrates me beyond belief. She’s clutzy, she’s careless, she’s messy – those are the things that I tend to focus on, on the daily. Trying to keep the house tidy, with the tiny whirlwind that is Emory Scout spinning her web of craziness everywhere, is definitely an exercise in futility.
But if there is one thing that I, as a parent, want never to do, it’s diminish her. I never want to make her less than she is.
When I can get beyond my own frustrations – at the sticky syrup all over the table, chairs and floor because she can’t sit still at breakfast; at the pile of clothes strewn on her bedroom floor because she was looking for the PERFECT shirt for preschool; at the literal spilled milk everywhere, because her enthusiasm for independence far exceeds her physical ability – when I can look beyond these temporary annoyances and inconveniences, there is, underneath the chaos, a small human who is sweet and kind and generous to a fault. She’s simply amazing.
And focusing on her faults does her a great disservice.
She is fierce, and protective. The other night we were snuggling at bedtime, she looked at me and, in all earnestness, said, “Mommy, if anything mean is ever coming to get you, I will be angry to it, and say RAWR!” Then she tucked herself in close to me and said, “I love you.”
She is imaginative. Both the kids like to tell me about their dreams, and the other day Emory Scout told me that she had a dream about Elsa (every little girl’s favorite Frozen character), and that she (Emory Scout) got to dress like Anna, and that Olaf the snowman was there. Then she looked at me and said, “Mommy, you can see it, too – but you have to have magic in your eyes.”
I almost cried, it was so innocent and so sweet. “You have to have magic in your eyes.”
And maybe that’s the trick. I have to have magic in my eyes – so I can see the amazing, strong, resilient, and capable human being that this little girl is becoming. She’s clumsy and clutzy right now, yes – because she wants to do things she’s not yet capable of, and is too excited to pay attention while she’s doing it.
She’s loud and brash which rattles my nerves – but she’s also uninhibited, which is so refreshing, especially for a little girl.
We tried to take the kids to a live theater performance the other day, and Emory Scout was so excited, so into the whole production (Shrek, the Musical) that she was literally climbing up the seats trying to see. She kept asking, “Mommy, why can’t I be down there?” She didn’t want to just WATCH the action, she wanted to BE the action. She wanted to be up on that stage. We had to leave early because she was annoying the bejesus out of everyone around us (including me – it was a really long show and I was exhausted from having to contain her in the seat).
But I have no doubt – no doubt at all – that some day Emory Scout will be right up on that stage, belting it out for all the world to see.
And I’ll be the loudest one in the audience cheering for her. I am so grateful for this little human who is reminding me that to see the good stuff in life, I have to have magic in my eyes.