She likes routine and makes up her own schedules. Never mind that they change weekly; she is only ten. There is always a process. I have a schedule that I keep close, check off lists as tasks are completed.
She’d much rather do quiet indoor activities, much rather organize her room alone than run outside. She cried when she was asked to weed the yard. I watch her as she works and cries tears of frustration and general not-wanting-to-be-doing-this-stupid-chore. My parents used to watch me from the window when they asked me to pick up the rotten apples that fell from our three apple trees, used to watch me cry in frustration. I giggled a little.
She is a hard worker but can get bogged down in the details and must be reminded of the original mission. I work better with a list and a timeframe, too.
She is afraid of the dark. When she goes to bed I can expect questioning about where I’ll be in the house after she goes to sleep, can expect her to peek around the corner of her doorway down the hall to make sure I’m still there. We are working on that, even though I remember being scared of the dark when I was young. Leave the hall light on, please.
She likes having her own space. She disappears to the basement for hours to play and watch TV. She’s always done this, has always been the one who I could leave in the room for a minute and when I came back, she’d still be there. She’s the quiet one, the low-maintenance one. I know not to interrupt her; she is my heart down there, watching that one Spongebob episode for the tenth, maybe the twentieth time, just as I did with the Brady Bunch.
She emerges from her room with a braid in her hair, a new fragrance on her skin, a piece or three of jewelry, and do I see lip gloss? She was in there for at least an hour. This is what she was doing. I had barrettes, lots of barrettes.
She is fierce about friends. She makes them easily, but doesn’t mind having just a few to hold tight and share secrets with. I get that; oh, how I get that. Having a few great friends is better than having fifty okay ones.
She is tall and loves it, tries on the high heels at the shoe store because she wears a ladies’ size now. Give me some four-inch heels. I like to see over everyone’s heads.
She loves school and is a very good student. I studied for years after compulsory attendance, considered being a student my profession.
She is a sensitive soul, feels bad when others are sad. She doesn’t mind hugging a sad friend, even a sad mom sometimes. She always searches for a common ground, a connection, a way to find peace. She wants to relate.
She is just like me.
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