My first daughter is now riding a two-wheeler. She’s four.
She had a trike since her second birthday, but couldn’t get the pedalling motion quite figured out. Then her dad told her she could have a bike if she could do 3 laps of the tennis court. A couple of days later, she did 5. She patiently waited (Weeks!) for dad to be available to take her bike shopping, and calmly understood that we weren’t buying the first one we saw. She waited again through several trips to stores till we could be sure we found the right one, and even accepted that it isn’t purple. She loves it.
J is full of exuberance, imagination, determination, and beauty. I cannot believe that she was ever a part of me, or even dependent upon me. And yet, it seems only a tiny time ago she lay in her bassinet, staring back at me, with her fist wrapped around my finger, the first night of her life.
J has reduced the depth of her concern for all things rule-based (I was seriously thinking OCD or something) to a level that allows her to not just tolerate, but embrace deviation from her world view – most of the time. For instance, she can explain to her sister that different families have different rules, and get confirmation from me that she’s right about that.
Tantrums are a thing of the past. Almost. Or at least, they seem fewer, in comparison to her sister’s stage at the moment.
J’s passions right now are: her bike, books, helping out, dressing up, doing art, and desserts.
I worry at this point that she should be enrolled in Karate, gymnastics, dance or music classes – but I’m going with my (lazy) instincts and letting her just be.
And what she is, is delightful. I love her physicality. She just throws herself into my arms for a hug. She doesn’t just spit into the sink when brushing teeth, she launches herself up onto the counter, feet off the floor, to get her head in there to do a really good job of spitting.
In February, I bought her a shirt with appliquéd sequins in the shape of a heart the size of her chest. In the afternoon light, it reflects a shimmering river of tiny light spots that dances on the walls and ceiling. You can almost see the love radiating from her in the same way.
Formerly a somewhat sober child, she is full of grins and giggles. She is very much at home in her body and the world, a lithe and lovely concentration of life.