Friday, July 9, 2010

For the Love of It

It is no secret that I have quirky kids. They aren't quirky in that precocious, "they must listen to NPR with their parents and have fascinating conversations way." My children are random in their quirkiness. Case in point: picture a play date with my friend (the former psychologist who does not believe in corn syrup or TV) and her adorable two year old boy. He is telling me about Mt Vesuvius meanwhile, three year old Caroline is spinning in circle with a bucket on her head singing "chickety China, the Chinese chicken." Flash forward to a year later when she tells her friend's dad that Vincent Van Gogh cut off part of his ear because "his brain was not working quiet right."

Now I am raising the second round of quirky. This time it is amplified. It is vivacious. It is Lily. There is no doubt that she is smart. She's witty, she's unique, her vocabulary is out of this world and she cannot be bothered to do any of the conventional things that we associate with smart. I would like to teach her to read. I have talked to quiet a few friends whose children are Lily's age and reading. All of the sudden all of my "no mommy pissing contest" rules are out and I want her to read NOW. I want her to do some tricks that aren't mortifying. What does she want to do? Laugh at me, giggle, taunt me with glee through every reading lesson. It is like she knows I want her to do this and the whole thing is just so droll.

So far she has spent her summer dancing, singing, and talking about everything and anything to do with Cats. Her grandma took her to see it and she is hooked. My child wants to be on stage and she wants it NOW. She started dance lessons this week and the crazy mama in me is looking for signs of a prodigy, but I don't tell anyone, especially her. That is the surest way to get her to quit. Lily dancing is pure joy. Her entire body lights up with it. I wish that I could lose myself like that. I wish Caroline and Rob could lose themselves like that. Heck, I wish the whole world could feel the way she looks when she is dancing.

Why am I so competitive? Just because I don't tell anyone about it, doesn't mean the green eyed monster is not there. I think it is all about my insecurities. I struggled in school and had so many labels put on me as "not quiet right." I would look longingly at the smart kids, the ones who got to make neat projects and go to neat places, and wish that I could be them. Rob was one of those kids. He assures me that I missed nothing. I think the beauty of it all was wasted on him (just kidding, honey). I want that for my kids. And if we are being honest here, I want the bragging rights of having given birth to one of them. What would it feel like to say "well last night Lily and I were discussing War and Peace while Caroline was talking with her father about a revolutionary idea for world peace." Instead I can explain how Lily tap danced all the way through the Hair Cuttery while pulling things out of her purse for prop comedy breaks (for example she asks if anyone has seen her nose, then pull out a huge plastic one, stick to her face and declare I smell peanut butter before collapsing in giggles). Or I can explain that she named one of her favorite stuffed bears Bear Butt because he has a tushy.

What I can really do is chill out and enjoy her. She's going to enjoy life with or without me. I think that it would be fun to be her side kick and see where she goes. Learning how to read, swim, or ride a bike is thrilling. When she is thrilled she jokes, she giggles, she bounces. Why shouldn't she enjoy it? Isn't life better when you are having fun? I am reminded yet again that Lily is here to make me (and the rest of the world) lighten up.
PS I am experimenting with adding picutres. Be paitient with me, please.


Anonymous said...

I love your blog Melissa!

<3 Christine

mooserbeans said...

Thanks Christine:)