I have a young Sizzler who is perhaps short on patience, perhaps short on perseverance, and perhaps even short on height (she IS her mother’s child).
But this child is most definitely NOT short on self-esteem.
She is clearly born with that survivor gene that says no matter what else is happening around her, she knows she has great value whether the rest of the world sees it or not.
Just to give you an idea of the scope of this quality in my child…
The year was 2004.
I had my children watching President Ronald Reagan’s funeral on TV.
I’d always liked them to witness national events and so I suspended school on that day so we could watch, discuss and share this piece of history.
My youngest daughter Emma (then four) was enthralled with the highly decorated procession.
People were dressed so formally.
They lined the streets by the thousands.
The horses were moving so slowly
The occasion was clearly very solemn…very important.
And the soldiers..oh the soldiers!
She was most enthralled with them.
Their posture, their precision, their uniforms (having been raised in a military family, I think I gave her the swoon-at-a-uniform gene too.)
She was completely dumb struck, her eyes riveted on the screen.
I don’t think she even blinked.
Finally she spoke.
“Mom, could we go there?”
“Well,” I paused to ponder, “actually, we could have gone. We don’t live all that far from there. But at this point, we’d be too late if we tried to go.”
“Hmmmm…” she exhaled thoughtfully.
This was clearly touching her sweet little four year old’s heart. I hadn’t realized that this was going to be such a poignant moment for her.
I felt, as her mother, I should help her articulate what her tender little feelings couldn’t express.
“Why honey? Why would you want to go?”
“Because,” she said with her unbroken gaze intently focused on that TV screen, “all those soldiers?”
“Yes” I encouraged.
“All those men in uniforms?”
“Yes” I edged her on.
“They’d like to get to know me.”
Did you hear the giant screech of the needle as it slid off sideways off the record? (for you youngsters, that’s a disk made of vinyl that once recorded sound of wooly mammoths and other prehistoric creatures.)
I was flabbergasted. I looked over at her with my mouth hanging open. Yet she was still off in a dreamy world where very serious soldiers moved slowly down the street, knowing in their hearts that something…something was missing in their lives.
And that something according to Emma…was knowing her.
This is a child who, as it turns out, would be known pretty much everywhere she would go. Because if you don’t manage to notice her on your own, she’ll see to it that you do…one way or the other.
Sometimes that’s good. And sometimes, as the child who now has gum in their hair will tell you, it’s not so good.
Life will be many things with this child.
It will be exhausting, frustrating, patience-requiring, and sometimes even baffling, but it most certainly will never be predictable and dull.
Gotta love ’em.