“Let’s fly, Mama,” she says as we reach the other side.
We fly along the street for a while, and in her imagination we are flying high overhead all of the trees and houses, looking down on the neighborhood from our vantage point.
“Were you a mermaid when you were little, Mama?” The questions she asks never cease to amuse, like the question about whether actual monkeys are used in the making of monkey bread.
“No, Emmy, I was never a mermaid.” I try for a moment to figure out where that question came from and remember Tom sketching a scene for her the other night. “I want some mermaids on the rocks, please.” Her daddy draws great pictures, and he complied.
She is skipping now in front of me, her legs getting longer and longer as kindergarten approaches in August. Overnight she is this amazingly articulate child, bursting with ideas and questions. She likes words, and I use as many evocative ones with her as possible in conversation. She will ask, “What does that mean?” I tell her. If a child uses a word a few times, they own the word in their vocabulary treasure chest. They learn what they hear.
She is sad that the robins on the grass all fly away. She’s determined she will hold one in her hands and speculates that they must be very light and soft. I tell her that they are only for watching, not holding, and she’s disappointed.
Later she makes sand pies at her sand table on the porch and talks to herself. I wonder what she’s thinking about as she shapes the sand into all kinds of delicacies. She loves helping me and loads dishes into the dishwasher, folds laundry and sets the table, all the while keeping up a stream of conversation. All of her stuffed animals are “she”, even her stuffed rooster from the farm set. I explain that roosters are daddy chickens. “Well, this one is a lady rooster,” she says firmly. Stumped at that, I decide to play along, but continually forget and refer to the rooster as “he.” I am corrected promptly.
A friend sent her the entire treasury of Beatrix Potter on CD. She can say whole stories from there by heart, spoken with a slight British accent like the story reader. It reminds me of when William at age 3, having overheard his older brother reciting some soliloquies from Shakespeare, surprised me at lunch one day by brandishing a fish stick from his plate and shouting, “Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition! By that sin fell the angels!”
Children are so interesting. Individuals that perpetually cause surprise (and shock at times!)
Emmy wants to start on violin. She has handled Will’s small fiddle and wants to play it. I think we may start with piano, however, and go from there. Sometimes children really do know what they want and the exciting part is helping them find out who they are and what they love. When they do find their passion, we often can only step back and coach and cheer them on as they grow into the people God intended them to be.
Emmy’s daddy just came home this Saturday afternoon. I can hear her in deep conversation. Any moment now, I will hear Tom laugh. It happens every time. The Emmy Effect.