Monday, October 22, 2012

She is Made from Stardust

All Rights Reserved.


The other night, F came home from a faux campout with her Girl Scout troop; she was too young for the actual sleep over part. (Well, actually, I misplaced the permission slip to let her sleep over; and I would've had to sleep over with her because she was too young. Mom: FAIL.)

F had loads of fun and was anxiously telling me about it when she stopped mid-sentence, declaring with a gasp, 
     “MOM! I’m talking in exclamation marks! That’s when you’re excited about something!”

     ME, caught in the moment: “I LOVE exclamation marks!”

     F: “MEEEE, TOO!!”

We shared a gigantic, squeezy bonding-over-grammar hug. I’m nerd enough to admit I was extremely proud and excited that my five year old had newly discovered her love for punctuation. Part of me couldn’t help wonder if she’d end up loving semi-colons as much as I do.  I nearly shivered in anticipation.

Uh. Yeah. I’m a nerd.

As I recounted the experience to my husband later that evening, it dawned on me it wasn’t really any surprise F loves exclamation marks.

 All Rights Reserved.

She is fearless. All passion and intensity. She’s one of the most inquisitive children I’ve met and she doesn’t take any middle-ground-grey-around-the-edges-bullshit. She wants is straight. No tip-toeing. Black and white. 

This isn’t easy for me.  I live in the middle, in the grey, and am very comfortable exploring that. There aren’t lots of exclamation marks in my circle. Many pauses, sometimes mid-sentence, taking you in another direction. (Must be why I love the semi-colon. And parentheses and commas.)

F wants the beginning and the end. Give it to her like a dagger: quick and sharp. She respects it. Understands that way of communicating.

I’ve had to learn a lot because I’m not straight, quick, or sharp. But she needs that. It’s the world she lives in. Her world calls for extremities. For fast, confident declarations. 

For exclamation marks.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was not a man for exclamation marks. He said,
 “Cut out all these exclamation points.  An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”  
 I don’t think he and my daughter would've got on much.  There's no way he was a Scorpio. 

As much as I respect Fitzgerald, as much as I live in the world of vagueness and grey, as much as I squirm being direct and straight and super expressive, I think he’s missing out.  I think I’m missing out, too.

What’s wrong with feeling something – your own joke even – with such pleasure, such joy, that you laugh at it.  That you feel it on a cellular level.  My daughter definitely laughs at her own jokes. Tears-streaming-down-her-face, holding-her-side, belly laughs.  Why shouldn’t she?

 All Rights Reserved.

 She’s filled with such fire, such strength, that she shocks me. In this post, I talked about how I have never been able to express myself and be as free as she is. Not outwardly. 

You have to give me a pen and paper (or a keyboard, or a piano, or maybe some paint) for me to be bold. To express so unabashedly whatever is steaming inside.

I understand that part of her passion is because she’s a child; but I also know it’s who she is. She was born this way. She hasn’t changed. I only hopehopehope that we don’t stamp the magic out of her.

Of course F LOVES(!!!!) exclamation marks. 

It is how she lives.

It's who she is.  She is an exclamation mark.   

May she always be.

20 comments:

  1. It sounds like your daughter will always love exclamation marks. What a beautiful energetic bundle of joy you have there living with you. I love her spirit and the no holding back. She is stardust! Love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzanne. I think she always will. I just hope she will keep embracing them as vividly and as wildly as she does now.

      Thank you. :-)

      Delete
  2. The pictures are very fun, Becky! Love the way you expressed the differences between your daughter and you. I'm just betting that the punctuation marks and semi-colon will learn a bit from each other. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Light Stepping Stones! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I think you're right: the exclamation mar and semi-colon will learn from each other. :)

      Thanks for stopping by + commenting. :)

      Delete
  3. Becky, this is such a fun post! You are a fantastic writer and your daughter is ADORABLE! I love the pictures, I love that she is an exclamation mark, and I LOVE how you understand her so perfectly. You are a wonderful mommy. <3
    Thanks for the smiles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonnie, thank you for the compliments. :) Especially the being a wonderful mommy part. :)

      <3

      Delete
  4. :)... As much as I agree with you about Freya.. ... and her fire and passion.. And as much as you may love "middle earth".. and cozy hobbit houses.. I happen to know.. that your passion and fire often explodes... with hand waving.. passionate.. conversation.. and ahem.. dare I say it ??? Rants.. !!!

    Love ya Beck.... but FULL self disclosure !!! LOL !!!

    Dad...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol You're talking about tantrums, dad. lol That's entirely different!

      Thank you! Love you, dad.

      Delete
  5. Becky, Becky, Becky!!!!

    I knew I was going to love this post by the title and you did not disappoint. I love the way you observe her and see the the contrast between you, I love the description of your understanding of her understanding. I love it, PERIOD!
    (AND did I mention that your photos are stellar...I'm mentioning it, they are!) Carry ON! June Maddox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, June. You are so kind. Thank you for leaving comments here. I always look forward to reading them. :) I am glad you liked the post. And the photos, too! <3

      Delete
  6. I love it Becky... and your daughter.And your photos are fantastic as well! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Caroline! <3 I'm glad you liked the pictures. They're all cropped off funny like she's had part of a limb amputated, but oh well. lol She was all over the place, dancing + jumping around. lol

      Delete
  7. Beautiful! I am crying as I read this, I hopehopehope too that the magic stays in all our children. I am also the grey, my husband the black and white. I wonder what our boys will be? Thanks for great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, V. That's so sweet that you cried! lol I really hope the magic stays with our kids, too. Hmm...maybe one of your boys will be grey and the other more black/white. I'm sure you'll already see it in them, though. F was born intense. There's not often middle ground for her. I think that was a sign. Sometimes I just watch her in wonder. Her brain can work in a logical, methodical way and she already challenges me in that department! Sometimes all I can do is shake my head. lol

      Delete
  8. oh what a lovely post Becky- and may your magic days together be long and full of punctuation love :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Josephine! :-)

      Delete
  9. Oh, my heavens, your daughter is divine! I love exclamation marks, too! I love that simple sweet dress she is wearing and her fierce look of joy. I didn't know joy could look so fierce and strong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Andrea! She's sure fiery and yes, I agree! She does have a fierce look of joy! She's just fierce full-stop! And strong! She amazes me. Honestly.

      Thank you! <3

      Delete
  10. I agree Becky, she is a star burst of exclamation points!!!! What an exquisite little person! :)

    ReplyDelete

Messages that are negative or mean or hurtful or political will be deleted; so play nice. This is meant to be a happy place. :-)