"mama, at night sometimes i dream about what my life will be like when i'm a grown-up. sometimes in the mornings i do that, too, when i'm awake. i was just doing that right now."
we were in the car, about to pull in to a parking space at target. we sat in the car, a/c running and hazel sleeping, so i could take advantage of one of these moments when she feels like sharing her big thoughts. here's a basic synopsis of what she told me about her dreams for her future (my neutral probing questions omitted, a lot of "oh reallys" and "i'm curious to know more about thats"):
"i am going to have the most wonderful children in the whole world. i'm going to live in a beautiful house. there will be flower vases in every room. the one on the table will have honeysuckle in it, and then at lunchtime, we can suck on the honeysuckles. i wish that my children will never get into fights with me, but if they do i'll just go to a different room until everybody calms down and maybe they will say 'i'm sorry'. i want my house to look similar to gram's house, with the rooms in similar places but smaller. everyone will have their own bedroom, but the babies and kids will sleep with us. [who is "us"? i asked]. the mama and the papa. i'm the mama, and i will choose who will be the papa. i will have a job, so i will not be around my children as much. that will make me feel sad, but if i feel sad, i'll just order a necklace like yours and i'll feel better if i have to be away from my children [the one i have with a charm with both girls' names -- i told her once it makes me feel happy when i'm away from my girls, because i can touch it and feel like they are near me.]. i wish for my children to be brother and sister. or if i have two boys, brothers, or if i have two girls, sisters. or twins."
in the past couple weeks, she has for the first time stated What I Want To Be When I Grow Up. the verdict? a "photographer artist". she's mentioned it several times, sort of elaborating on the concept"when i'm a photographer artist, i'll make art that people can buy. it might have paint and photos and other stuff all mixed up." she also added that she might like to act, but that was immediately after we were at the children's theater. i reminded her that in a few weeks, she starts summer camp at arts center, which is visual arts combined with dance and drama.
wow. mama's so smart. (i.e., sometimes i get things right! :)
today was her first day of school having switched to mornings from afternoons. she went to morning class twice in the week when larry was abroad and i was having trouble, say, standing without leaning against available walls. she loved it, minus some trouble with the foreign concept of napping. well, i sort of forgot that it would be a big deal, her first day moving to mornings. same school, same teachers, some of the same kids... plus she'd been to mornings twice.
well yesterday she was sort of insane all day, then at bedtime, it all came flooding out.
"what if the morning kids are mean to me? last time at morning class, i asked if i could play with them and they said no. only the all-day kids [who already know her] would play with me. and i don't know how to do the dancing class that they do at school and all the other kids will know how. and i want to play with the boys, but they only want to play firefighter and i don't like playing firefighter. i could ask them to play race [which she used to do months back with boys when she tired of princessy stuff for a spell], but i don't have any racing shoes that fit me anymore. my sandals run faster than my feet so i can't race in them, but i don't have any good race shoes!"
after a surprising amount of back and forth, it became clear she was referring to tennis shoes. ah, tennis shoes! well, my dear one, that we can fix. we can go get you some tennis shoes. i wish i could fix it so that no kid was ever mean to you and you never had to have your feelings hurt, but that's not how it works (nor should it be). but shoes... check. i've got that covered.
she was excited and apprehensive this morning, and there were a few tears when i dropped her off. by the time i left (after chatting outside the gate with another mom), she was on the playground, chatting with a "new" (morning) boy and a girl she already knows. hazel spied her all that distance away and repeatedly waved bye-bye. at pick up, hazel saw the playground and begain waving again, though it was empty, looking for eva. eva was tired and cranky, but i think that's to be expected after a big new experience. so, i think it's going to be a good switch for her in the end.
but this growing up stuff, whether making new friends or planning for your future as an artist who lives in a flower-strewn house with your kids, is hard work. here's hoping some appropriate footwear can help a little.