Entry from Miss D.'s baby book: 8/20/07: First day of Kindergarten
Today you started Kindergarten. Huge day! For some reason they made all of the parents and kids wait outside until the teacher came out to get them. It was a mess out there--kids crying, screaming, hiding behind pant legs, biting lips in an attempt to be brave. You just checked out the playground equipment.
When your teacher, Mrs. Dykes, came out, she had all of you children line up and face the crowd of parents. She said, "before we go in to start our exciting day, blow a kiss to your parents because they might be feeling a little sad about leaving you. On the count of three..."
So while all of the other kids obediently blew kisses, most through a haze of tears, you grinned devilishly, turned around and shook your booty at me!
Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet The Minx.
She's always been a different breed. She doesn't just move. She whizzes. Inside voice does not apply to her. She operates on two speeds: full throttle and collapse. When she was young, other mothers at the playground stared at her as she whizzed and screamed and basically trashed the place, and they'd look at each other with wide eyes. I knew what they were thinking: Whoa. And I thought my kid was a handful.
She also didn't like much to be cuddled. I had to ask, and she would oblige, but I could feel her little body pulsating in my arms, anxious to be set free. I'd watch other toddlers snuggle in laps, burying their noses in their mother's necks, twirling their mother's hair in their little fingers, and I'd feel a pang of loss. That path was not mine.
When other children hurt themselves on the playground, they'd cry out, look around wildly, arms already open to recieve comfort from the one person they needed, the one person who could take the hurt away. But not Miss D. When D. hurt herself she curled inward, tore herself out of any comforting arms, ran to a corner and isolated herself until she felt like she could face the world again. She made it clear, early on, that she was beyond any comfort I could offer her.
She scared me then and she scares me now. Ferocious little warrior child with a will and a speed and a voice that I desperately struggle to understand. And she's moving, moving farther and farther from me as the years pass. I can feel her slipping from my grasp, body still pulsating, frantic to get free.
God give me the strength not to clutch, not to fight her. Because Miss D. has always belonged to someone--something--else. She needs only the wind and the earth and her two strong legs to carry her.