We spent Thanksgiving visiting Dan's grandparents in Fresno. All weekend, they kept raving about Miss G. How great her manners are! How cute her short hair is, how it suits her! How they've never seen a child so... well, enthusiastic!
Grandma's sister: "She has such a little personality!"
Grandma: "Oh, my, yes!"
Miss G's greatest quality-- her cheerful, unsinkable nature-- is also her most exasperating. She has trouble keeping friends, because her enthusiasm reads as bossiness. (Okay, sometimes it is actually just bossiness.) No one can keep up with her, particularly not her mama. She is always at least five steps ahead, and nothing is ever fast enough for her. She expects perfection from anyone she looks up to, and since she is a trusting soul, that is almost everyone. I'm always nervous about bringing her into restrained environments-- say, Miss L's piano lesson-- because Miss G is just plain larger than life, and that is not for everyone.
At the same time, she is so open and sweet and good-hearted. She picked flowers from the grandparents' yard and handed them out as she said goodbye. She dished out unreserved hugs all around to these people she has met a total of I think three times. She loves giving presents and spends half her allowance on goodies she can share with other people.
I always feel like I'm too hard on her... the constant reminders to chew with mouth closed, to remember please and thank you, to use her inside voice. And since Miss G is the human equivalent to a small tornado, I am constantly, constantly hauling back on the reins, trying (often with total futility) to slow down even a little her exhausting joie de vivre. I don't ever want to quench her bright little spirit, but I just plain can't keep up with her.
So, I'm encouraged by compliments from Grandpas and Grandmas (and their sisters), by comments scribbled on report cards ("A delight to have in class!" is very popular), by my sister regularly asking for recent stories about her. I figure all this means I'm doing a good job. Although I think Miss G is an amazing kid not because of my parenting, but rather in spite of it.
Miss G, you have done it again. Even though you have interrupted me about 86 times while I've been typing this, and my resulting impatience has made it extremely challenging to continue praising you to the hilt, I am just plum crazy about you, kid. Don't ever change.