Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Beautiful Mystery

It's been awhile since I've been compelled to post.  These days, our life with the kids is pretty well-chronicled on facebook.  But tonight this happened:

Stella got her first two-wheel bike.  When I picked her up from school and told her we'd be picking up her bike at Tyler's office, she was possibly the most excited I'd ever seen her.  She told everyone we saw, literally jumped up and down with joy, and squealed.

And it feels like a moment.  I remember getting bikes when I was growing up.  The feeling of independence, freedom, the wind in my hair.  The feeling of my muscles working and propelling myself with speed and happiness.  It might have gotten me even more than preschool graduation:

To be fair, I had always viewed preschool graduation with a bit of skepticism before this year. 

But somehow these two events and my wonderful interactions with Stella on a regular basis now that she is five and half somehow just made me realize how much of a wonderful mystery Stella is to me.

She's driven, artistic, focused, and emotionally mature in ways that shock me.

I don't think Stella really understands what a scientist is, but--hey--it's a good ambition!

Standing by her self-initiated art project during our trip to Walla Walla, in which she created graphics around morning and evening routines (top row (morning):  wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed brush teeth;  (evening):  put on PJs, brush teeth, read a book, sing songs)

Under the "umbrella tree" she found 



With her mosaic she made, with intense focus, over two hours, on a special "date" as a reward for lots of good behavior. 

With the table she decided to set so we could have a "fancy" dinner 

The note from Stella's teacher describing her focused work for a week on a definition book.  This one on orcas was the first of three she has made since. 

Hiking, with her backpacking backpack, at the Big Four Ice Caves a few weeks ago.   She is always driven to do the whole thing herself, and is always asking when she can climb a real mountain, not just be at the base or on the side of it.

 At the big gallery room in the Frye Art Museum on another Mommy-Stella date.

I really don't share this to brag.  Partially I don't want to lose these memories, these moments we've had over the last few months.  But it's also because they are such an illustration of her as a person.  She doesn't have attitude and artifice.  This is who she is.  She's the kid during the before-mentioned preschool graduation who follows all the rules, stands still, and tries to get everyone around her to also be focused on the task at hand:

(untouched photo)

I see myself and Tyler reflect in her in many ways, but she's not either of us.  She's not some combination or reflection of us.  She's Stella.  And, sure, we are reasonably involved parents, we pay lots of money to send her to a good preschool, and she's got a lot of advantage.  The wind is at her back in a lot of ways, but so much of this she does because of her own drive, focus, and desires rather than because of some agenda Tyler and I have (which frankly is mostly about trying to just stay on top of day-to-day life these days).


Now, lest I come across as though I have a perfect child--she can be selfish and self-involved and impatient with others.  She can be stubborn and childish.  She is, really, a child still.  And I know her so well--we had the most intimate relationship that maybe I think you can have with another human being--but she is also a separate person whom I can only know so well.  Which is wonderful, and strange, and necessary (and probably a good way to bring me even closer to the parents in my life).

Here's to you, kid.  Can't wait to see what the next year or so brings to light.

1 comment:

Jules said...

the is a really beautiful entry