1) Window markers are genius. They are one of my “hidden gems” I bust out when I need to keep the kids in one geographical region for more than ten minutes at a time.
2) Violet amazes me.
I sat watching her draw on the back door and thought of our relationship.
I so completely and deeply understand her… but also, I don’t. I admire her constantly – her bravery, her zeal for life, her emotional honesty. I see her weaknesses flashing before me in neon and then see MY weaknesses flashing even brighter. I worry about being the mom she needs. Often I catch myself staring at her, intrigued by the genes that are not my own but are so familiar to me – I have memorized every little piece of her. She is changing quickly, too. From carefree and wild to thoughtful and deliberate. Not always, of course, but I see new things in her – responsibility, motivation, discipline – things that weren’t there a few months ago.
We knew she was smart the day we met her. We knew she was brilliant later that week. But the nature of her intelligence still isn’t completely clear. She is still verbally astounding, but has also begun to take an interest in more traditional academic topics like math, phonics and geography. At the start of homeschooling, she didn’t show any interest in things like learning new shapes or even counting skills. But now, just a few months later, she begs for ABC flashcard games and points out every shape “hidden” in the street signs and world outside while we drive. She sounds words out and happily guesses the letters inside. While Daniel tends to learn best in a creatively free environment, I’m starting to think that Violet just might do best with a little more structure to her day; an order, at least, a list of things to accomplish.
She invents conversations with any two objects in front of her. When I snapped these photos, her window drawings were discussing something important… I wish I remember what it was. Usually her conversations are solo and it’s kind of a big deal if you get invited into one. (Yesterday Daniel asked to join her lego person conversation and Violet allowed it, but chastised Daniel for “solving the problem” too quickly. “It’s supposed to be a long conversation, Daniel!”)
She is compassionate. Relational. Loyal. Self-confident.
She stretches me and takes me out of my comfort zone. She tests me and I fail often. She weakens me AND strengthens me. She forgives me when I’m angry with her, reminding me that her love doesn’t change no matter how many mistakes I make. And I have no question that God put her right under my nose to help me become the kind of parent (and human being) I need to be.
She still has so, so much to learn from me… and I have even more still to learn from her.