November 10, 2013

Well-behaved Women and all that...Rewriting History

There's the old internet favorite quote about well-behaved women seldom making history.  Apparently you gotta break the rules to rewrite the history books.  I would bet that women who are not well-behaved as adults were probably not all that well-behaved as children....that's my assumption, of course.  Maybe they were perfect angels and life somehow altered them in a way that changed their perfect demeanor.  Who knows?  Maybe they were just born to raise hell...

My youngest was christened with the nickname Hurricane because this is generally how she tears through life.  The last 20 words I've uttered, after making sure my mother was going to trim my Crepe Myrtles so that I didn't butcher them, have been (in no particular order) "Stop!"  "1-2-don't make me say 3!" "Get away from the spider-infested playhouse!" "Go wrestle with your dad!!!"  If you followed me around with a recorder, this is my daily mantra. Some people have om; I have "So help me God!"

I know people judge me when they see her sometimes-well-maybe-alot of questionable behavior.  Truly, I feel bad because they think she is a heathen and undisciplined.  Some of it is pity for myself, but more so for her. She is a hard child to parent because to try to reign her in would only cause her to fight more.

I admit I have added to it.  When people have asked how she is, I respond, "If she'd been first, she'd been last."  However, that is possibly the truth. This girl is a work-out 24-7.  There is no downtime for her, which means no downtime for us.  As much as I delight in her, there are days when I wish for a kid who would go play quietly with some dolls or trucks or crayons or something...just something.  


She is so golden and pure and good.  There is a light within her that is unlike anything I have ever encountered.  She is fearless and full of wisdom.  She is a teller of the truth, even when it wounds those who need to hear it.

Recently she was holding up the bathroom line at preschool.  Her teacher was concerned she was taking a bit too long to take care of business, so she gently opened the door to check on her.  There she was, drawers at her ankles on the pot with her chubby four-year-old hands clasped in prayer.  The teacher, who knows and loves her, gently asked who she was praying for, she responded her grandpa needed some extra prayers that day.  The teacher let her finish her business (both toiletry and prayers) and she moved on with her life for the day.  

She can tell you where President Andrew Johnson is buried and much about his life.  She knows that the leaves are turning colors and falling because the chlorophyll is leaving them.  And, yes, she uses the word chlorophyll.  She understands how echos work.  She is amazing.

I know that raising her will be a challenge.   She is going to test every boundary we and society set for her. She will test her teachers and try their patience.  But she is going to be a freaking mind-blowing adult.  I believe she will embrace every hurdle life hands her. She will stomp through life willing everyone to live as fiercely as she does.  And I think they will.  

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."  Right on, Shakespeare...right on.

1 comment:

  1. Anyone knows it's corn that makes you smart. Just ask Catie and she'll tell you that's why she knows about chlorophyll, Andrew Johnson and so much more. I am amazed at what she questions and then tells me about on our way to school in the Pop-Pop van. Try explaining to a 4 year old why one of Johnson's parents is buried in one state and the other in another state and yes, we will be going to Raleigh, NC to visit his father's grave.

    I watched her stroke her brother's face and hair in church today as if to say "don't worry - I'm here for you." Even a hurricane needs fuel to keep up their strength and Catie runs on Oreos and Hoo Hoos. And yes, your Dad took her to the supermarket to restock this afternoon. She asked where we were going and I said Food City. She informed me she called them supermarkets. More corn.

    She gave her sister Grace one of her Oreos with the admonition, they're good, they're birthday cake Oreos!"
    She also made sure I had one to give to her cousin Lincoln 'cause she won't see him tomorrow morning.

    It takes the coming together of several natural events to create a hurricane. Even as Cate is unique and individual, she is the culmination of of all things good in your family.

    Howl on Catie. Howl on!