Only three and a half days remain until I make that arduous twenty-eight hour flight. There is, what I would expect to be, normal amount of anxiety and nervous energy in anticipation of my move. In these last few days I am making my final preparations, ensuring I have everything I will need to take and saying goodbye to a few folks. In my immediate vicinity, I will admit to not missing very much. I’ve always had that wandering spirit, so there is a degree of separation already present. On the other hand, there is one five-year-old in particular that I will be missing quite fiercely.
Gracie has a very special place in my heart and I find it easier to compartmentalize and not think about all I’ll be missing rather than concentrating on it. Instead I’m trying to think about the new little girl I will be taking care of. I’m also very thankful for technology. Skype may be my new best friend.
Last week on the tenth, I accompanied Gracie on her field trip to the Children’s Museum and then the park to eat lunch. Wow. Chaos often comes in the form of little five and six-year-old bodies bouncing around. While I fully believe in the power and impact of socializing your child, sometimes a more concentrated, solitary effort is better. We had several different stations to visit and were only permitted ten minutes at each station. We stopped at the color station and Gracie piped out different colored liquids to create new colors. We moved onto the doctor station, where Gracie picked out a ‘sick teddy bear’ and then had to diagnose him and wrap his broken leg. She had a lot of fun looking at x-rays and determining what part of the body they were before being rushed onto the next station. We visited the dentist station, the circus station, the grocery store station and several more. All in all it was almost too much to stimulate her little brain and not enough time to fully enjoy it. The highlight for me was the last station we hit: the weather station. Gracie stood in front of a green screen and explained that there was a tornado coming J and what the temperature was. My favorite part was when she finished off her report with the cursory ‘back to you’. The stuff this kid comes up with amazes me. Little sponges.
I am never bothered when I see parents asking other adults to adjust their language or behavior around kids. It’s how they learn. So why wouldn’t a parent want to moderate what their child is exposed to? Conversely, I see the wisdom in preparing your kid. I see it almost like an immune system. One that is never exposed to viruses or germs will be easily prone to contract sickness. An immune system that has been exposed to its fair share of INVADERS will be stronger and better equipped to deal with it when sicknesses do arise. So, in my humble opinion, I say find a happy medium and just ask yourself if you are doing your child a disservice by protecting them too fiercely.