|What's a doll dress without glitter?
Last September Augie started all-day kindergarten. For the first time in her life, ViMae didn't have her older brother (by 15 months) at her side.
She was lonely for a day or two, and then she began, in a dozen different ways, to blossom. She came to relish our undivided attention. She developed the confidence to choose activities she enjoyed. No longer always interrupting herself to check on her brother, she displayed an impressive attention span.
|The Plastic Bag Princess
Among other things we also read, picked flowers in the garden, played DragonVale on the iPad, made up stories, and played dress-up with colorful scarves serving as skirts or veils.
To top things off, we both began to dance, singly and together. Early last fall we danced programs dreamed up by Vi. A sample directive: "I'll be a rosebud and you be a fairy princess that touches me with her wand and I'll rise up out of the ground and open like a flower."
As Vi's personality has emerged this year, it is clear that she is very creative in ways that draw upon not coloring within the lines, literally or figuratively.
|Coloring outside the lines
She loves pink, princesses, fairies, dragons, flowers, ballet, gymnastics, swimming, shells, rocks, and dresses with twirly skirts. Wherever we go, she tends to wear a fancy dress with casual leggings or pants beneath, to protect her knees in case she climbs a tree or hangs upside-down on playground equipment. On the other hand, she might decide to show up in her dragon costume. And all winter she loved walking into preschool wearing her jacket backwards, with the hood up, holding my hand for navigation.
|In princess dress in Pa's workroom
Whatever she turns out to be, she will follow her own heart, win people over with her charm, and approach each situation without a lot of pre-set boundaries and limitations. It has been such a joy to spend time with her this year and get to discover her strengths, even as she herself discovers and flexes them.
And oh, by the way, Happy Birthday, sweet ViolaMae. I love you very, very much!