Friday, February 21, 2014

Five-Minute Friday: Small

It's impossible to reason with her, standing in front of me defiantly with the little white box clutched in her hand, all ear-to-ear grins and wide eyes.

She's eaten her brother's violin rosin. Again.

She's taken all the toilet paper from the bathroom and run with joyful abandon down the hall, dragging the rolls behind her in her own kind of parade.

Maybe she's smeared stolen lipstick all over the side of the bathtub or colored on the side of the china cabinet with markers. Maybe she's put all the forks in the trash can or stuffed a handful of dishtowels into the toilet or helped herself to a nearly-empty can of Diet Dr. Pepper.

Whatever it is I've just found her doing, it probably wasn't the first time.

She leaps to great, gymnast-worthy heights on the sofa cushions no matter how many times I ask her not to, my voice getting bigger (not smaller) with every repeat performance. She dashes around the house after her bath without a stitch of clothing, singing, "I'm nakey! You can't catch me!"

"Come here, please, so I can help you put on your diaper, " I say, and she (all giggling and wild eyes and crazy curls) shrieks, "NO! I WILL NOT!" as she dashes away from my reach.

God, she is so tiny. She's just a little itty-bitty wonder-girl all lit up with the power of her ability to declare her intentions and act on them.

In the face of her amazing will, though, I'm the one that feels small.

Help me to guide her, not to squash channel her strength of spirit as she rejoice in the wildness and the wide-openness and the confidence that are her trademarks, her gifts, her tools for taking on a world that will not always be kind or respectful to her. And God, when my frustration bubbles over and I want to erupt, give me the strength to remember that sometimes, the best way to parent her wild out-of-bounds-ness is to kneel down to her level, look into her eyes, hold her, and remember that I, too, am small...and you never, ever yell at me.

Five Minute Friday

I'm linking up again today with the lovely community of word-wielders over at Lisa Jo Baker's for Five Minute Friday. It's a chance to write for five minutes in response to a one-word prompt and see what self-criticism, over-analyzing or backtracking allowed. Come check out what other writers think about Small...or give it a try yourself! You don't need a blog to play along- you can leave your writing in the comments on Lisa-Jo's blog.