Just on time

She turned over, sat up and crawled on time. I think those were the last things she did “on time”. She didn’t feel like walking until she was 16 months or so (she took her first steps around 13 months, but she must have realized what was ahead, because that was it for several more months). But she potty trained herself between 18-19 months. And she was singing “Once Upon a Dream” (Sleeping Beauty) and “Somewhere Out There” (American Tail) in their entirety before she was 2. Early or late, late or early – we never knew what we’d get from her. But we always knew there was a light in there. A special light. An inextinguishable light.

She showed us that light in her daily activities, in her near constant songs, in her laugh, in her silliness. We saw how she looked up to her big brother when she was two. We saw her excitement when her 1st grade teacher put her article in the “Daily News” every few days.
We also saw her disappointment when she just couldn’t run as fast as the other kids, or when she wasn’t exactly the first kid to get picked for a team. We saw her devastation when she got a D in reading in 4th grade. Apparently she hadn’t realized the teacher actually wanted her to HAND IN those book reports.

We saw her careful gentleness around her prematurely born brother, and how she has watched, cajoled, played and nurtured him ever since. And now that he is several inches taller than her, we watch how she teases and loves him and how that is returned in kind.

We saw a reasonably “popular” (I hate that word…) and well accepted child opt to leave that particular clique of girls and hang out with quite the opposite group of girls, simply because one of the “popular” girls was really mean. That was a very hard thing to do.

We saw the light find the stage. We knew it was there – we ALWAYS knew it was there. She had a leading role in her school plays in 4th and 5th grade. It was there. She opted to learn an instrument instead of sing in the choir in intermediate school. She was a big fat OK at it, and was encouraged to keep at it instead of switching to choir in 8th grade. But she followed her heart and ended up with a solo or two at the end of the year in choir. Her director praised her for picking the right “instrument”. She has always known best.

We watched her in high school – finding her way through the social maze, the hormone haze, the academics, detention. Detention, not for any kind of disrespect or behavioral problem. Well, maybe it was a little behavioral – what else is tardiness? Tardy. Always tardy. After school detention, and then when that avenue was exhausted, Saturday school. Remember the Breakfast Club? She was there. She wasn’t any of those stereotypical kids, though. She was just the good kid – there with the troublemakers because she can’t get out of the house on time. Still can’t to this day.

But above and beyond all that was the music. Oh the music. The music saw her through it all. She sang, she danced, she still played soccer and participated in the youth group. She tried, but did not get to be a cheerleader. She tried, but didn’t make the “chamber choir” her junior year. She was devastated. She didn’t get decent roles in her high school plays. She was devastated. She did get VERY good roles in her summer musical conservatory programs. She kept the light shining. She knew – she always knew best. She knows how to persevere. She knows how to take someone’s opinion and take what’s important about it and leave the ugliness behind. Turning a “you can’t do this” into an “I’ll show you I can” is her specialty. And she has. Posted by Picasa

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