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Browsing Tag: childhood

Counting the Ways

Saoirse and her team finished up their novice basketball season this weekend. These girls exceeded all of our expectations (Saoirse: “I didn’t think we were going to win one game!” Her dad–her head coach–sheepishly agreed): they were undefeated this season save one loss, and I never thought a group of 3rd and 4th graders could grow so well together. It was amazing to watch–and reaffirming, quite honestly, to witness firsthand how steady hard work can make even the biggest doubters say, “Oh, okay. I wasn’t expecting that.” As I said good night to my oldest girl after the last game of her tournament, I told her how proud I was of her. She asked why–what was I most proud of?–and I had to sort through the reasons to get to my answer. (I’m a mom, you know. Ask me how I’m proud of one of my kids and I turn into a mushy pile of Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems.) Saoirse’s gotten faster this season. She’s more confident, more sure of herself, more in control…

So Long as They Jump

Saoirse and I were sitting on the couch together the other night, reading. Much to her little sister’s dismay, SK gets to stay up later than her younger siblings. Quinlan, in her imagination, thinks we spend this time gorging on cupcakes, or reenacting episodes of American Ninja Warrior, or laughing at some uproarious movie we’re all watching without her. Not so, though–the nights that Saoirse hangs out downstairs, this is what it is: sitting, reading, quietly talking. (In her defense, Quinlan really wants to just do that, too. She saves the Ninja stuff for other times, like when she’s supposed to be sitting down with us to dinner.) That evening, I was watching the fish wander around their aquarium in their spot across the room. Our smaller goldfish, R2 (or as I like to call her, Dumb) was quietly moving along, just happy to chase the bubbles around her tiny world. Finn, on the other hand (or as I prefer to call him, Dumber), was attacking the rocks that lay on the bottom of the tank, knocking them this way and that with a terrible goldfish-sized clatter in his desperate search…

At Seven, A Name That Fits

She turned seven a couple of weeks ago, our Mighty, and I’ve been thinking about what I’d say about her ever since. Her interests haven’t changed all that much since last year. She still loves butterflies, and horses, and riding her bike. There’s some stuff that’s new: she started playing soccer this spring and was awesome to watch. She learned how to really read this year, and you know as well as I do there’s no better sight than seeing your own child curled up in a chair with a book. She isn’t as afraid anymore, and that’s the thing, I think. That’s what I’ve been thinking about. Here’s what I find funny: Quinlan said earlier this year that she didn’t like her name, which isn’t funny at all, really, especially when you know that I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying that if she’d just stuck with Quinn like we’d wanted to call her, maybe she wouldn’t be complaining. Don’t worry. I…