Thursday, May 8, 2014
Molly: Age 7
Really?! Molly is 7? I feel like this is some kind of cosmic joke. My baby is growing by leaps and bounds, maturing and becoming a kid who has empathy and generosity. Molly was always my Molly, you know, that girl who does what she does on her own schedule when she feels like that is a good idea. I noticed at some point this year when her teacher would say things like how disorganized Molly is and I would tell my princess how she is so neat and here is a cool way of staying on top of things, and then this girl went and took my advice.
I give all credit/blame to La Dee, my sister. She and Molly are the same. She's the one who told me Molly is a carrot v. stick type kiddo, and so it turned out to be true. Perhaps all this maturity is due to getting older, or perhaps I have unlocked the amazing puzzle of my Molly. It's hard to say. What I can say is that 6 has been good to this girl. She got the exact teacher she needed, one who took her measure early, but was willing to be proven wrong. I will never forget that parent/teacher conference and being told Molly was doing just what was asked and that she would probably have trouble the second half of the year. I can't forget it because it was one of those times when I knew what it meant to know your kid best. I knew why Molly was doing just what was expected. I knew that she had figured out how to skate by with good grades, but not expose her hand of brilliance. Molly is so so bright, manipulative and crafty. That is not to say she is dishonest, but that she can charm you out of your favorite shoes and make you feel good for it. This girl has the rest of us figured out.
I have to say, Molly is delightful to raise. It is precisely because she is so different from me, and because she scratches that itch I have always had to work puzzles. Between her special inflammatory responses to foods, her charm, her quiet defiance and her comedic genius, I find she is the girl I wished I were growing up. She's gorgeous, but unimpressed by it. She moves fluidly through peer groups, she defies expectations (for better and worse), she is always her own self and she never tries to be anything but her self. Recently we had specialty cupcakes at the house for Charlottes birthday sleepover that had to be postponed. Molly was aching for one. I offered her the chance to make the choice for herself by telling her that it was up to her to deal with the consequences.
"What are the consequences again?" she asked as she eyed the Boston creme cupcake.
"Eczema, belly ache, and possibly those joint pains, but I'm not sure if that one is a compounded issue or not."
"Forget it, just give me the icing." she replied dispassionately. She had calculated the risks and deemed them unacceptable. When I was her age, I'd have devoured 6 of those suckers and enjoyed every ache that came from it.
I know she isn't perfect. I know she needs to be better with girls her age and needs to learn to try someone else's idea once in a while. She's stubborn, yes, and that has had major drawbacks. But this year, I've seen maturity, empathy, and interest in others bloom. I've seen her take responsibility for something someone else was blamed for, a major deal for a girl who is happy to be naughty undetected. I've even seen a healthy dose of humillity, which just about knocked me over.
Maybe I idealize this golden child. She is so different from the other kids is so many ways, I notice her nuances. Maybe because she reminds me of the big sister I idolized, I feel awed that I get to raise one like her. Maybe because Molly is in the middle I pay special attention to not letting her get pushed aside or ignored. Who knows why this little girl captures my affection so easily? All I know is that she was supposed to always be my baby, but she's started to grow up anyway.
Happy birthday Molly Mack. I love you inside and out, upside and down.