What will she be Like?

Okay, folks, I’m going to make a prediction here. Ready for it?

When it comes time for Hula Girl to enter school, choose a career, or make big life decisions, she will not settle for “good enough.” She will want to excel. She will want to impress. And she will want to teach all the other people around her how to do those things as well.

I can totally see her leading a study group on the 4th grade playground, just 20 minutes prior to the Big History Test. I can see her doing all the extra credit assignments in her Sophomore English class, even though she’s already got a 4.99 GPA. (Is that possible? My high school didn’t offer but one AP class. Of course, I was in it, but we didn’t get weighted grades. My college had to reconfigure my high school grades when I applied just so it didn’t look like I was dumber than the kids whose grades were weighted out of 5.) I can see her in college, cramming for all her finals and then sleeping through her first two days back home for Christmas to catch up on sleep she missed during finals week.

I can see her being extremely picky about her friends because Mommy and Daddy have taught her that there are things called “right” and “wrong” and she doesn’t want to be friends with kids who do the “wrong” thing sometimes. I can see her having a select few best friends who are awesome people who will encourage her and enjoy her even though she’s a bit anal sometimes. I can see her dating very few boys and holding out for THE ONE because she values herself so much. I can see her being One Hundred Percent Sure that the man she chooses to marry is Right For Her.

I can see her practicing her lines for hours in front of the mirror on a Saturday, just to get the leading role in the play. I can see her lining up soccer balls and shooting them at a goal in the backyard for hours after practice. I can hear her tuning her instrument and playing the same piece over and over, just to get the music perfect.

And do you know what makes me even more proud?

I can see her stopping whatever she’s doing, wherever she is, to help someone in need. It doesn’t matter whether that need is big or small, whimsical or dire, spoken or unspoken, physical or emotional. She has an uncanny (and sometimes unnerving) ability to sense when someone needs something, and she is usually correct in guessing what that person needs even if it’s not spoken. And she meets those needs.

My task as her mom will be to teach her to balance her life. She will need to know that it’s okay to go 150 miles an hour for a short amount of time, but that it’s even better to slow down (or-gasp!-stop) to smell the roses every now and then. I do have a pretty good idea of what I plan to do to instill this in her heart and in her habits.

I have already started putting my plans into action.

First, I am very intentional about showing her the wonderful things God has built into nature for our enjoyment. There is not a night that Hula Girl and I don’t spend a few minutes gazing out the window at the beautiful pink sunset. (Hula Girl’s first pink sunset experience was filled with joy- “Yook, Mommy! The sky is pink just foy me! God made it pink because he knows that I yike pink!”) Then her eagerness turns to pure excitement as she frantically searches the sky for the moon. We also spend time looking at beauty in rocks (we have a lot of granite in our backyard, so we look for the crystals), leaves, bugs, flowers, snowflakes, and animals. I remind her frequently, “God made this so we could look at it and see how wonderful He is,” or, “Isn’t God incredible? Wasn’t it so awesome of him to think about us when he made this?”

Second, we take time daily to list, discuss, and praise God for the things we are thankful for in our lives. On Hula Girl’s most recent list were things like airplanes, sheep, shouting, Gelato, dogs, clouds, and singing. (Those of you who know her best will be able to recognize that we made this list while she was in her swing.) We do this at least once a day, and she always has something new to talk about.

Third, we take special time each evening to reflect on the day and ask what things Hula Girl liked and didn’t like about the day. If she has trouble remembering everything that  happened that day, I remind her. She will then go into a paragraph-long-but-extremely-repetitive speech about something that she liked or didn’t like. Two nights ago, she told me that she liked sliding on her slide because she likes to slide and sliding is fun and her “New Baby” was sliding with her and “New Baby” likes sliding because sliding is fun and they like to slide together.

Allow me to close with today’s experience with Storytime at the library. I think this highlights many of Hula Girl’s qualities as they’re listed above.

We arrived at Storytime just before it started. I opened Hula Girl’s door, unbuckled her straps, and asked her to get her arms out of the carseat, but wait in the car until I came back for her. She did. On the way into the library, she wanted to stop and look for ladybugs on the plants. In November. I asked her to come quickly because we were almost late. She ran to the doors and then waited for me to come hold her hand while she walked quietly through the library. She whispered to me when she was inside, reminding me to use a “quiet voice”.

There were a few boys in the storytime room today who were new to the group and who could NOT sit still. One was even quite boisterous and disruptive. Neither of their caregivers (I don’t think they were with their moms- maybe their grandmothers?) could control them. The younger of the two came over to the girl next to us and shoved a book in her face, then dropped it on the ground and left. Hula Girl picked up the book, walked it over to the boy, and came and sat back down without saying one word. Then the older of the boys threw a tantrum and hit the woman he was with. Hula Girl turned to me and said, “That boy needs to use gentle hands.” Of course, neither of the boys left during storytime, so it was a bit chaotic today.

Aside from those two things, I did not see Hula Girl really participating/interacting much. I kind of thought she was too distracted to pay much attention. Turns out, she paid a lot more attention than I thought!

On the way home, Hula Girl said, “I yiked sto-yee-time today.” I said, “You did? What did you think about it?” She said, “I did not yike dose boys who were walking ayound and being youd. I did yike dose kids who were sitting down and yee-see-neen.” I asked her if she remembered what the stories were about. “Turkeys!” I asked her if she saw any of her friends. She named them. But then she repeated, “I did not yike dose boys who were youd. But I did yike those kids who were quiet.”

She also decided to teach the tiger puppet that she checked out this week (SO gross, BTW, but that’s another post) how to sing “If you’re Happy and you Know It”. Her “Tiger” version:

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!

If you’re happy and you know it, then your teeth will surely show it! If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!



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