My daughter goes to the school I teach at. Sometimes that means waiting after school for me to finish my work. Meetings, plans, grading, etc. She also has two big brothers. This has meant being schlepped to every kind of gym and field and court and auditorium around, and many even out of state for all kinds of events centered around them.
She is here. Right now. We have practice at 6 and the middle guy is meeting with a former teacher to catch up and get some advice. They needed it. Both of them, I think. They have a good bond and it’s very sweet of her to want to reconnect and help. So school has been out almost two hours and I am working and she is…sleeping.
She’s A LOT for some people to take sometimes. Too “too”. Big personality. Some might say “needy”. Some do say it. There is always some form of sound emanating from her. Always.
She needs to be heard and witnessed and experienced and focused on.
Her brothers are as good as older boys in their position could be. She’s theirs so not only do they accept it but they, I am pretty sure, would protect her versus anyone who doesn’t. But she’s also theirs, so they get the brunt of all things her all the time and sometimes they decimate her. Death by a million paper cuts. And 99% of the time? Their more forceful mental and verbal blows roll off her like it’s nothing and she saunters off to some corner to draw or ticktock.
She is a rock but I hate that she has to be. But I am glad that she is because I know this world.
Of course she’s a lot. She has to put her fist on the car horn and never let up, ever, if she hopes to be noticed by anyone. Ever.
And she’s a ball of burning heart and might and will and force. And I’m busy. We’re all busy as she smolders and waits. I hope that by the time she fully forms into what she will be I give her all the time back that she has graciously donated and she feels seen and known and understood. Looking at her slumped and out, doing the one thing she does in silence, I know how very important it is that I make that hope a goal and one I succeed in.
I want her to grow up demanding attention and respect. But I don’t want her to do it to replace anything I didn’t give her. I know that path. I hope she demands but doesn’t need. I don’t want any of them to need, but she’s the one who has to, it seems. For now.