Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My daughter, it seems, has finally hit the 5th grade wall. Her friends are emailing mean things to one another, and about their teacher, whom she loves. Her visit to the infamous Poe Center to learn about OUR CHANGING BODIES is imminent. Her day of reckoning with soccer grows ever closer as she must decide to get serious or play for fun a little longer. Add to that her very serious illness last week, and having to take giant horse pills for 14 days, and an upcoming piano recital and graduation ceremony, and her parents' busy work lives, and it's just a little much.

I feel for her...but I also love her unique take on things and trust her strength to carry her through this challenging season. Her brain works a little differently than mine, perhaps more like my husband's. She has found solace at the piano keyboard, and with her books (and more books) . But nothing soothes her more than hours and hours of bouncing a playground ball back and forth on our paved sidewalk and driveway.

She has always been a bit repetitive and focused in her play. Used to be, she would ride the zip line for hours (oooo the calluses!). Then, she blew out three scooters in a row on the path now used for ball-bouncing (the white scrapes on the concrete from her turns are still there). The playground ball that Santa brought exploded in protest after the 800,000th bounce, so Grandma graciously bought a new one during a visit. And the sound again echoes off of our brick house, over and over again.

I think she thinks, and sings, and imagines, and maybe even goes blank a bit when she's bouncing. Brother is not allowed to play with her during this time, although if a neighbor is over with him, she seems to just go on with her thing. Truly, she will do this for hours at a time....it is pure play but maybe the best kind of mental break and meditation.

I hope she can find something similar to relax her mind for years to come. The excitement and scariness of middle school is upon us...and she'll need an outlet. Perhaps I should spring for the value pack of balls.

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