Sunday, November 25, 2012

she's all that and more

I am a Type B personality.  They don't come more laid back than I am.  I am the one who got lost in Disneyland when I was a kid.  The one who got lost at the State Fair as an adult.  The one who gets caught up in what is going on around me and totally forgets everything and everyone but the moment.  The one who can read a book in a noisy crowd, and tune everything and everyone out.

Two of my kids are a bit like me.  One is the polar opposite.  My oldest, Jen.  The accountant who loves numbers and organizing.  The kind of stuff that makes me break out in a sweat.  Her twins were going to be like me I decided before they were born.  The type of people who would experience the world completely, and not try to organize it.

Duncan is sort of like that.  Since he was put on medication for ADD he has become focused and is a different boy.  He can finish tasks now, but that doesn't mean he likes doing them.  The art stuff that is.  He did do a great job on his birdhouse, but I think he saw it as a chore.

Oh well, that leaves the girl.

Maddie has drawn pictures since she could hold a crayon.  They have gotten more intricate as she got older.  I chortled to myself in glee when I saw that.  Ok, here's the one who will be like me I thought to myself.  I loved her drawings, and had all these plans in my head for helping develop her into an artist who would set the world on fire with her talent.

Then she started making lists.  Of everything.  And I cringed.  That smacked of her mom's OCDness.  I thought I might be wrong.  So I kept encouraging her art.  And she drew, but she was making more lists than drawings.

Being the optimist that I am, I refused to give up on Maddie.  The boys were all lost causes, but I still had hopes and dreams for the girl.


Until Jen told me about the project they worked on for her Brownie Troup.  Something about healthy snacks.  What struck me was that Jen was trying to make Maddie be neat with the art part of the project, to protect her expensive table from glue and glitter.  Maddie decided to do it her way, and they got into an argument.  Jen told me she didn't realize how much Maddie is like her (which means she isn't like me) until she saw her at the Brownie meeting and watched her getting her fruit ready to be made into kabobs.  She showed me the photo and asked me what I noticed.  Now I may be Type B, but it jumped right out at me.  Right in my face.  And my despair climbed as I hollered:
She's got that damn fruit lined up perfectly!
Jen started laughing out loud.  Then I started laughing.  If you look at the photo, you will notice Maddie is the ONLY girl with her fruit organized.  Grapes lying side by side, not end to end, pineapple lying end to end, and a banana in the middle at the top and bottom to divide the fruit.  Even the look on her face is intensely OCD.  She is doomed I thought to myself.

As I left the next day, I noticed the orange tree poster.  Perfect.  I just sighed.  Then I remembered the letter Maddie wrote to her mom after their argument during the project.

The last line is what I noticed.  The one right above I love you.  It said: "besides, it doesn't have to be perfect."

There is still a faint little glimmer of hope burning in my heart for Maddie.

I just hope her mom doesn't snuff it out.



...life is really good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

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