Friday, March 02, 2007

Magical Moments of Make Believe

My daughter is 3 and 1/2 and full of intense energy. She wakes up jabbering about what she will do during the day, asking me what I am doing, looking around for anything that has changed in the house while she slept. Yesterday, I had shifted a chair into a slightly different spot so I could do Yoga. The moment she woke up, she tilted her head and asked "Hey! Why is that chair there?" She notices everything! This also means that she remembers everything I say, and holds me to it. I have to be ultra careful with what I suggest or promise, because to her, it's set in stone and WILL definitely happen, post haste! I have grown to love this as it forces me to say what I mean, and act on what I have promised. Her full name means "truth", and we have discovered how appropriate this is to her discerning, inquisitive and detailed-oriented personality.

We have decided to help her funnel her intensity into creative play as much as we can. In many ways, she develops her own play and it naturally overflows from the changes in her age-appropriate development, ideas from friends, and the expansion of her fertile mind. But I make a point to carve out specific time each morning for adventurous, creative play.

From the beginning, my husband and I decided to have no more toys than would fit into a medium-sized Tupperware Tote. We have gone beyond that somewhat with larger items like Alley's small, wooden highchair for her doll, a rocking horse, and one of those bead maze things with loopy pieces that you slide the bead over. And beyond the toy box, we have a Costume box and a Puppet box.

I find the greatest costumes at the MCC thrift store in our town and Value Village in an adjoining town. So far, we have a monkey, lion, tiger, ladybug, princess, caterpiller, angel, fairy, hawaiian hoola girl (grass skirt and funky floral dress) , doctor bag, and various little scarves and purses and high-heeled shoes. I have so much fun watching her merge into character, and I play along. She often wants me to call her "dentist", or "ballerina", "doctor" for an hour or so as she glides around the house and listens to my elbow or stomach with the stethoscope. Actually, after a recent trip to the doctor, she now listens in all the right places.

We've gotten into the habit of going to the library once a week to pick out new books together. This week, I picked out one called Wishes for You by Tobi Tobias. It is a heartwarming reflection of a parent's hopes for her child. And beyond a deep yearning that my children know and love God above anyone and anything, these reflections hae become almost a prayer for me:

*I hope you will have moments when you're so happy, you'll feel the sun is shining from inside you.

*I hope you will have the strength and spirit to deal with bad things when they come your way.

*I hope you will be lucky.

*I hope you will always be curious.

*I hope you will never forget how to be silly.

* I hope you and I will have adventures together--just the two of us.

* I hope you will love to read.

* I hope you will learn to make things with your own hands.

* I hope you will want to make your body strong and quick and beautiful--and enjoy the way that feels.

*I hope you will love one special person more than anyone of anything in the whole world.

* I hope that, one day when you're grown up, you will have a child--different from you, but just as wonderful.

* I hope you will love being alone sometimes.

*I hope you will know what you think and feel and not let other people tell you.

* I hope you will be able to tell your favorite people the secrets of your heart.

* I hope you will always be part of a family.

* I hope you will always remember me and know how much I love you.

Sometimes after the kids are in bed, I tiptoe into their room and say over them the things I hope they will have and will experience in their lives. Remembering specific hopes like the ones above, gives me strength for each day I have as guardian of these precious large-souled children.



Brynn said...

They are little miracles, aren't they? And I marvel at how complete and deep their little souls are from the day they are born. We as parents simply provide the fertile soil in which their large souls dig roots, send up shoots and unfurl leaves to catch the goodness of life.

I have been marveling at my 3 y.o imagination of late, too. A hanging mesh tea strainer has been repurposed as a tow truck. He tows anything he can find. Makes me want to clear our house of toys (like you, we don't have many) and let his imagination take over!

Lovley post. I am thankful for the common language of parenthood. The depth of your feelings goes without saying.

churchmouse said...

as matthew and I get ready to become parents we have found ourselves taking wide-eyed serious note of the ways some of our close friends are with their children, how they're nurturing their families. We have some friends here whom we especially admire in that respect, and are keeping track of them with hawk-eyes for ideas and practical examples of the love and values we hope to live out with our kids.

In light of this I said to Matthew the other day, "I wish we didn't live so far away from Kelley and Bryan..."

It's great to get little glimpses through this blog of ways you are being and doing with your little is the kind of thing I desperately need to see...people with the values i share living them out creatively...

it gives me so much hope that i can do the same, and that i need not settle for a default, weary, average way of living as family

thank you! and keep blogging!

elizabeth said...

hear hear! (that is right way to writing it yes; i was about to write HERE HERE! luckily i make myslef laugh lots regarding myself)...

(feel free to tell me which it is too, i am still not sure!) i agree, i really like your blog and the wonder you see and strive for.

and i pray that your prayers for your family will come true and that you will know always God's protection....