Three times now I have dreamt that Clara’s cute little mug shot self is in a line up with four other unrecognizable babies. At the end of the dream, I’m yelling behind the one-way window that I choose her. I want to rescue her from that lonely line of nameless babies and take her away from the place where she has to stare at herself in a mirror to where I am, looking at it all through my Windex clear window.
This pregnancy has churned out lots of interesting dreams and made falling asleep actually feel a little adventurous, but I think I can play Freud on this one and place the origin of my “I Choose Clara” dream:
I really want her to talk. Lately, it seems like all her friends can either sing the entire Justin Bieber repertoire, explain in detail the intricacies of the human skeleton, or can simply tell you every single thing you’re doing every second of the day. I just finished a book about bullying in the schools, and I sometimes worry that a slower language development now will translate into lower reading groups in first and second grade, which will translate into my little girl getting her heart stomped on by mean ‘ole gifted kids. Now, of course, I’m taking a nice little ski on the famous slippery slope over here, but the other day a four-year-old with a feather in her hair and sequins all over her shirt gave Clara a sassy look when Clara reached for a marker and snipped, “It’s time for you to go home, Little Girl.” Clara was visibly injured, and I don’t care if she’s only four, I stared her down. I don’t want Clara to be made shy and uncertain by other people’s meanness. I want her to feel like it’s always okay to be herself.
The sad irony, I know, is that the more I try to speed up all the major milestones, the less I’m appreciating the exact self Clara is at this exact time. So, with some gentle nudging from Aaron, I’ve calmed down the conversations about how so and so’s niece was sarcastic at one-years-old or how such and such four-month-old has the whole alphabet song memorized. I’m looking through the window, and I want that one–with all her curls and her hugs and her touching pronunciation of “Kode” for Dakota.
Besides, the other thing I see on this side of the window is that right before all the words come is a delightful way of doing things that is both wonderfully illogical and completely rationale all at the same time.
For instance, Clara loves to dump out all her shirts and walk around with this box on her head. She crawls in it, poops in it, and peeks out at me to see if I get how radical are small spaces that fit us perfectly.
Clara also has the forethought of a young, careful woman out to eat who knows to order a glass of water with lemon with her glass of Chardonnay. There is no rule that says one must have the milk first and then the water. She has also been witnessed sipping both at the same time—two straws, one mouth. It’s all so efficiently potable.
We were also recently tipped off by Clara that the strawberries in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar look so ripe and so red that they are surely real. So now before it’s too late and someone tells Clara that big girls don’t lick the pages, we spend some time in the evening eating our books.
Tangentially, we had a great weekend. On Saturday in the fatally cold –22 degree weather, we went to the middle school to watch the Native Youth Olympics. Below a boy kicks a ball with both feet that’s raised about nine feet high. Take a sec and see how high you can jump with both feet—pretty hard, yeah?
The cold weekend temperatures seemed to wreak havoc on some of the wildlife, and Dakota was sure to remind us that it’s a wild world out there in the Alaska wilderness as he brought what appears to be a wolf torso into our yard. There’s our guy sitting protectively next to the frozen hairy mass.
Clara and I continued our weekly ritual of Tuesday donuts. An early riser at 6:00 a.m., she’s always a little sleepy by the time we get to the “Moose” around 10, but after the requisite photo shoot, we still swapped smiles over some chocolate glazed goodness.
Saturday night, we went to Vergene’s dance recital with Anna and Kelsey and Paul. The girls were adorable as they shared a seat and dance moves. Anna has got the moves, let me tell you. Clara does her crazy head bang (illogical and yet oh so, rationale!) to the hip-hop and ballet numbers alike while Anna does this sweet little shoulder sway that’s very likely on beat.
I’ve stolen some pictures off Kelsey’s blog, but here are the two friends huddled together with Anna’s b-day book from Clara a month ago. The girls actually scuttled off to Anna’s room while we sat around the dinner table and talked. It was very five-years-old of them to play so independently.