The sweet girl and I have both had a difficult week, individually and together. This isn't a place I've designated for whining (I save that for my precious & patient husband, or my journal, and sometimes my prayers -- I'm SO thankful God is patient and really wants to hear what's on my heart!) so I'll just say that it's been a week full of learnings for us both. And a week to try my patience on.
In the midst of the hard stuff, some of which is just mundane, tiring stuff, one bright spot has been our daily read-aloud time. For S. is absolutely loving -- nay, adoring -- the first Betsy-Tacy books. We read the first three around the time she was five, and she seemed to enjoy them then, but I guess it was a bit early. She claimed not to remember them very well. But judging from her delighted response now, she is definitely ready for them!
We zipped through Betsy-Tacy and moved right on in to Betsy-Tacy and Tib. "Could we ready just ONE more chapter please?" has been the week's mantra. And yes, I'm a sucker, especially when it comes to reading books I love so much. Despite not getting nearly enough done this week on a number of writing, teaching and household projects, I find myself saying "sure! yes! you bet!" and we read another chapter.
The most eye-opening thing for me has been to see her response to Tib. I've always related most to Betsy (the imaginative story-teller) and in some respects to Tacy (I was just about that desperately shy in my very earliest years) but the sweet girl, with her strongly literal streak, really "gets" Tib. When Betsy plans something outrageous and Tib looks admiring but politely skeptical...well, let's just say the sweet girl understands that look. After all, jumping off things really ISN'T flying, though it sure is fun to do it, and OK, Betsy, we'll humor you and call it flying. And hey, by the way, mixing everything you can find in the kitchen in one big pan really ISN'T cooking, and probably is going to taste pretty bad. But OK, Betsy, we know it will be fun if we do it together, especially if you make up a song about it.
It makes me chuckle to see how much my daughter relates to Tib, and it also gives me insight into some of the ways in which she and I relate to one another. I guess good story-telling does that: holds up mirrors for us, mirrors we can look into and see reflections of ourselves and others, or at least reflections that remind us of different parts of who we are. And yes, it's true, there really ISN'T a palace inside the mirror, and beautiful Aunt Dolly really lives in Milwaukee anyway, not a palace. But OK, Betsy, we'll all get mirrors and pretend we're walking on the ceiling because it sure is fun to imagine. Especially when we can do it together.