Tuesday, May 1, 2012
It's just that I don't want her to be too disappointed by the disparity between fantasy and reality that will inevitably make itself known. In the name of protecting her bright spirit, I engage in a little spirit-squelching. Does that make any sense? Her perceptions are so very different from mine; why not let her see through her own plans on her own terms? Maybe reality won't disappoint. Or maybe it will, but surely she can handle it. So a couple of weeks ago, when she began describing the May Day party she was going to throw during recess, I kept my mouth shut.
And agreed to buy animal crackers (party snack) for her to bring to school. And didn't groan (too loudly) when I woke to her standing at my bedside early this morning, scrubbed and dressed and waiting eagerly for me to help her with the preparations. And assisted (minimally) in the making of tussie mussies for her friends, and printed out this fun glossary of herbs and flowers with their symbolic Victorian meanings to bring to the party. And watched her skip back and forth in the rain to collect herbs and flowers with a smile on my face.
We loved reading about the meanings of the herbs growing in our front yard and imagining particularly evocative combinations. Later, after a story on Morning Edition about International Workers Day, we had a long, fascinating conversation on the way to school about unions, workers rights, and standing up for vulnerable people, all the while clutching our damp slips of paper filled with rosemary and forget-me-nots.
Finding a balance between supporting my dear ones and allowing them space to grow is an ever-shifting challenge. This morning offered a rare, fleeting moment of feeling myself perched happily, impossibly in the slippery center. Happy May, everyone!