I am in complete and utter awe of DD (Darling Daughter)! Ever since she’s been around, I cannot help but be inspired by her and grateful to the gods, God, the Universe for their gift to me. She’s always been perfectly her own age yet an old soul at the same time.
I remember when she was 2.5 or so, she got into the driver’s seat of the car and wouldn’t get out. When I finally managed to move her into the car seat, her huffy words to me were, “When I’m grown, you’re sitting in the car seat!” I loved her fierce, but moderated, display of independent spirit!
And when she was 5 years old, the Electra Complex showed itself quite clearly again (remember, as a Maddie, DD did not have a father for whom to compete with me, so that it manifested vis a vis my profession is pretty telling!). I was teaching at Salem State College (now “University”) at the time and had to bring her with me to one class meeting, as I had no care. Until that time, she had come with me on occasion to the high school where I taught, and she even “co-taught” a 10 week Spanish course with me at her preschool. But, I didn’t even think about that as we drove up to the campus and I set up for class. My expectation was that she would sit at a student desk and draw, colour, or read. Her expectation proved to be quite different. She kept coming up to the front, trying to help out, and I kept sending her back to the student desk, rebuffing her gently (I thought)…after all, my college students were paying for my expertise as a professor; I couldn’t have them taught by a 5 year old! So, I didn’t understand at all why my DD was smoking mad as we wrapped up and got back into the car to drive home. Indeed, she was so angry as she climbed into her car seat that she couldn’t speak to me or even look me in the eye. Perplexed, I sat in the driver’s seat and, looking at her in the rearview mirror, asked, “What’s the matter, ciccina?” Finally, she mustered a clenched answer: “When I’m a grown up, Salem State is going to want me and not you!” It was all I could do not to laugh out loud, so serious was she. But I smiled and answered, “I’m sure that will be true very, very soon, my love!”
Truer words were never spoken, for every day I realise just how talented DD really is…and I’m constantly amazed that I made her! And so far, I haven’t wrecked her…that’s the best part, the testament to the one tenet I had established for myself as a parent in the early days of my pregnancy: as long as I can see her for who she is, and not for whom I want/wish her to be, and as long as I don’t ruin the core of her, I’ll have done a good job as a parent, and, especially, a Maddie. We’ve almost made it through ten years and I think I can breathe a sigh of relief about her on the cusp of pre-teendom; I think I can honestly say I’ve been a good (not great, for I’ve had my moments, let me tell you!) parent so far, through all the ups and downs (and I pat myself on the back – because, after all, who else is going to pat me on the back?!).
DD is talented at all things creative and athletic: swimming, viola, drawing, dancing, story telling. Her drawing in particular has always attracted attention. Indeed, at age 3, she drew a picture of herself, my mother (a huge influence in our lives) and me – shown at right – that was pdg (pretty darn good)!
Now age 10, her drawing has matured as well as her entire Self and, as you can see from the above Salem State anecdote, I’ve learned to consistently involve her even in my professional activities. She has seen me writing posts for this Maddie endeavour; she has waited patiently for dinner as I carved out my thoughts from beginning to end, read other blogs, researched a topic, or set up the Facebook page, Twitter account and e-mail, etc. I thought, then, it would be fun to do this Maddie thing together, since, after all, we are in life together! She’s recently become interested in drawing animé, so I’ve asked her to create her animé imagining of a Maddie, a mommy and daddy in one, that fits for both single moms and single dads – an “everyMaddie,” if you will.
I was breathless when I saw her first sketch, following the instructions in her “How to Draw Animé” book but drawn freehand, nonetheless. Here it is:
I am so in AWE of my AWEsome DD that I just had to share…and invite YOU to share YOUR OWN experiences of jaw-dropping, I-don’t-deserve-such-a-great-kid-but-thanks-GOD/UNIVERSE, AWEfilled and AWEinspiring moments with your DKs (Darling Kids)!
Looking forward to reading your stories, until then,
I wish you all Peaceful Parenting,
The Original Maddie 🙂