Sunday, November 15, 2009

Learning to Spin

            My daughter has learned to spin.
            I guess she probably got the idea when I went shopping at a big box store with a couple of buddies, and I had to look for something so I told them to watch Celia. When I got back, she was sitting on an office chair spinning round and round with a humongous grin on her face. My friends were laughing and kept switching directions, to my daughter’s great delight.
            She started spinning on her own in the kitchen when Michelle and I were eating dinner. She twirled around twice, then looked up at me and Michelle with an impish grin on her face, as if to say, “Ah ha! So this is what I can do!”
            Michelle and I both smiled back at her. “You’re spinning! That’s called spinning!”
            Michelle stood and twirled around a couple of times, until I said, “Michelle. Don’t forget you’re pregnant.”
            “Oh yeah,” she said with a queasy look on her face. But Celia was already duly impressed. She smiled at us and started to spin around and around until she fell down. Then she stood up with a huge grin and did it again. And again.
            She’s growing so fast now, it’s making me want to read all those parenting books Michelle brought home. It seems to me that no matter what kind of parent you are, there are timeless truths that all parents should obey. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re energetic or laid back, emotional or stoic, all parents would benefit from parenting in ways that uphold the dignity of the child while at the same time drawing appropriate boundaries.
            As Celia gets older, I’m finding a tiny bit of freedom open up for myself. She’s getting to be comfortable playing on her own now, and this gives me time to actually do a thing or two. But I can already see the temptation; with time freed up more and more as the kids get older, we start to go back to all those things we put on hold for them. And then that moment will arise where my daughter will want my attention but I’ll be way too busy with my own things again. I hope I will be able to give full attention and love while at the same time pursuing a bit of my own thing. I say “a bit” because I truly do wonder if I’ll ever have time the way I used to, ever again. A part of me thinks it may never happen.
            For now, she’s got a long way to go. She’s just learning to spin, and at this point, probably the best thing I can do is get off of my chair and spin around with her. She’s only going to be this age once, so I’d better appreciate every last moment of it. In some ways, maybe my life needs a little bit of a spin. Shake things up a bit. Couldn’t hurt.

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