Thursday, October 14, 2010
An Anna Break
This blog ends up being mostly about Ethan and our adventures in autism, but I don't mean for Anna to get left out in the cold. It's time for an Anna break.
Every day Anna gets off the bus and the first thing I'm reminded of is the little girl in the Norman Rockwell painting who's sitting outside the principal's office. Anna's got three teeth missing, and as she steps off the school bus she's usually got her jacket slung over one arm and her backpack half open trailing behind her, with things falling out of it. Her shirt is untucked, her clothes are somewhat dirty from the playground, and usually her knee socks are rolled down to her ankles or her tights have a hole in them. She's almost always smiling.
"My team won!" she announces many days. This is the highlight of first grade so far; which of the three teams won for that day and got to pick something from the prize box. If her team lost, she's usually passionately upset for a few minutes, but in true Anna fashion, gets over it. Or gets lost in doing a craft, which helps her get over it.
My daughter is an optimist. I love this because I am not. I fully appreciate her sunny disposition. I learn from it. I marvel at what it must be like to always see the glass as half full, and then realize that while that may not come naturally, I can still choose to live and think that way, with practice.
The other day we were raking leaves while she and Ethan were taking breaks to jump in them, and in the middle of it all, she exclaimed, "Mamma, I just realized something!"
"What?" I asked expectantly.
"Work can be fun!" It was as if she'd discovered a treasure. And really, she had. To me, one of the secrets to fully enjoying life is to find joy and pleasure in hard work.
The other day she came home with some cheap iCarly electronic thing from the prize box. It had an electronic face that kept changing expression....happy faces, silly faces, sleepy faces, sad faces. "Look what I won!!' she kept saying. "I'm so happy!"
After receiving proper congratulations from me, she stopped to think a moment. "You know what?" she said. "We could use this to teach Ethan about emotions!"
Ack, my girl. I just love her to pieces. She is truly a gift.