Kapow

Everyday we witness brilliance.

I go through each day with my mind blown wide open as my child peels back layers. The tiniest things are a revelation to her. She takes the world apart and puts it back together in fresh ways. I wake up and my own world is full of promise, but hers is packed with innovation. And so, from the moment I step into her sun, I just wait for the newness to wash over me.

This moment is a privilege. I’m soaking it up with the expectation that this is four, maybe five, and that she’ll eventually settle into life like the rest of us. That she’ll outgrow it like she’s outgrowing my lap (that’s a little heart-breaking, isn’t it – she’s so long). It’s all I can do to keep my eyes open and watch. Not to guide or to suggest, just to sit and wait and listen. This is nearly impossible but it’s my ever-present goal.

I smiled in relief this morning, a little, a smidge, when we dropped her off at school. She can pour this constant discovering onto someone else and I can go to work with the very reasonable expectation that the upper limit of surprises at a library is perhaps three. I feel like the edges of my mind are rubbed a little raw after two full days watching her read, add, invent, uncover, explore, surprise after surprise. She reads words everywhere all of a sudden. Watching her sound out a word and then produce it, fully formed from her mouth, it’s the tip of the iceburg. The math. The intricate building designs. And my god, the physical (and terrifying) explosion.

Once she told me (as she scaled a trash bin and then edged out on to a tiny ledge nearly flush with the wall) that things like this were dangerous. In fact she said “Dis is so dangerous, mama, but I yove it.” And I said, “Yes, it’s dangerous, but sometimes dangerous is also fun.” See above about keeping my mouth shut. She is fearless about retaining walls with dizzying drops onto concrete. We are constantly catching her arms to get a better grip, bracing for a wrong step. Convincing her to look the other way, that she doesn’t NEED to balance on top of that fire hydrant. This weekend, she tried to shove my hands off of her legs as she attempted to spring to the top of a railing overlooking a river. She’s so FAST. Does every parent have a disaster plan for the emergency room?

Some folks dread Mondays. Sometimes I’m among them. But my dangerous, smart, four-year-old is safely tucked away at school, unleashing her particular brand of discovery onto other people. And, thank goodness, I can take a deep, predictable, breath.

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3 Responses

  1. “Sometimes dangerous is fun…” This. Yes. Exactly. It feels good to be brave, no? Why deprive them of it?!?!?! I have found the best thing to do is hope for the best and be their safe place to fall.

    • It’s true! I hope she can continue to embrace the fun side. Now to impress upon her the joys of safety and protecting ones life. We’re lucky that the way she hurdles through life has only delivered the occasionally face scrape so far!

  2. I love reading about your journey through the amazing eyes of you daughter. It’s amazing to see the world through a child’s eyes.

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