There was a birthday party today. It was the last of the family oriented parties clearly. My youngest niece now has age group appropriate friends and it’s not just all of us old people giving her gifts and her posing with them for the camera. She has school friends now, and lots of cousins who are here local. My poor mom and sister are not taking it well.
The youngest niece ran and played at the gymnasium where the party was held, totally ignoring mom completely and my sister for the most part. These public parties have their own rhythm. The young adults who lead them are mostly ok, some even good. Today there was one manic guy who almost planted his foot in my middle niece’s face and then complain later when she did a cartwheel and her feet came far less close to planting him than hers had earlier.
But never fear. That little girl is very strong and he did not get the best of her. It seems that when I thought she was just get some air she was actually reading. And then my little 9 year old niece had the chutzpah to ask one of the grown men a question. She read, “Life Guards on Duty” and she asked the nitwit who had chastised her about her cartwheel and his face a simple question: was this a pool?
She swims competitively and knows her way around a pool. She knew. The simpleton said “yeah” at first, then said “I’m kidding.”
She told me all of this while the party was winding down. All of them were tired — flushed long before the crying about get a cone from the cake — another story in and of itself.
I had asked her about her birthday and she was sad that even thought her birthday was in the summer, her class had not recognized it and wouldn’t either in the fall. I told her that when she was a teenager, she would not regret it. Then the oldest niece came over and said she had a test on her birthday, and I took the advantage to say that look having a birthday in summer is a good thing looking forward. We then talked a bit about how summer school in the early years is different from college, which lead me to ask her what she wanted to do.
This is so critical.
This one. This girl has imagination. I want to nurture it. She loves the Diary of a Whimpy Kid stuff, and I have encouraged her to write. She is very funny. While shopping for the little one at the bookstore, I was thinking of the middle one. I asked if she would like a book with only lines. She said it would be ok. And then she said she was writing a story. I asked her if she would like a book with lines and a lock with a key. EYES LIGHT UP. YES is the answer. When I say ok, that’s your birthday, she complains that she has lost her train of thought.
I suggest the story she is writing. Then it all flows. She tells me the plot and the characters. I ask if she will be illustrating it, then tell her how to do the by-line. She’s not sure about the dad’s name, and I give her suggestions.
This girl is a writer.
I will do everything I can to encourage her.
She had imagination. She has an idea. She’s always had ideas. My mom and sister and everyone else thinks she is a liar because of the stories she tells.
She’s not. She notices things and is not afraid to say something.
The place we were at had a lot of deep places filled with spongy things for kids to bounce or fall into. The same perceptive niece felt something buckle underneath her. The ahh moment came when she told me and Granny about her conversation with the adults running the show. She had figured it out.
And now the gift I will give this beautiful mind is blank paper with a key. And more blank paper so perhaps she and I cane make her own book. I will show her Roberto’s book and then it starts.