|D, who never holds still, descending the staircase in an alternative fashion.|
Each of my daughters has a very clear area of interest, and while I won't say these interests are their sole lives' destinies, I will guess that they'll remain significant for all their years.
R, at three, has loved building, fixing, making, stacking, and creating since the day she first grasped a block. She can spend hours with her legos, and can fill an entire summer afternoon with the construction of a scrap-wood metropolis. Duplo highrises, Lincoln log stables, and wood block palaces litter my office floor. The livingroom is a sea of outlying rural structures. She may not be destined for carpentry, like her father, but she is definitely someone with a good sense of spatial relationships, of engineering concepts, and of the process of visualizing and placing objects in a physical space. Whether it leads her into art, architecture, mechanics, or science is yet to be seen.
D, at six, is a physical being. She runs, climbs, wiggles, jiggles, dances, shimmies, and sashays. She cannot eat her dinner without doing the rhumba in her chair, and after a meal her table space looks like it just hosted a dozen toddlers. She dangles from the banister, leaps from the couch, walks on the coffee table, and jumps off the staircase. "The (fill in the blank) is not a jungle gym!" is our constant refrain, and "why dontcha build me one?" her sassy reply. She has other loves, of course—clothing, kittens, crayons, books—but I will bet my bottom dollar that this one will never enjoy a desk job. She needs to move.
M, now 10, has had a singleminded adoration of all things zoological since she first learned to crawl after the kitty. At three, she told me that she wanted to study old whale bones when she grew up. "What are those people called?" she asked. " "Marine paleontologists," I told her. At my next meeting with her preschool teacher, I was told that M intended to be "a marine paleontologist and the next Annie Lennox." M's interests haven't changed much . . . she still loves performing, and she's still fascinated with marine mammals. She sets her sights on aquatic veterinary medicine and amateur theatre. Her interim goal, intended as a means of support during college, is professional dog walking.
As for me? As I've mentioned, I always wanted to be a rider when I grew up. I imagined a towering stallion rather than a 14 hand mule, but then sometimes life surprises us with unexpected gifts. Fenway Bartholomule is one of them.