Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Sunshine



My daughter Isabelle has had quite a summer. We moved within walking distance of her two favorite things: the Y swimming pool and her cousin Priscilla. Yet after Labor Day weekend, Isabelle has a new favorite: the lake. "I'll never swim at the Y again," she exclaimed, jumping off a big yellow raft into the deep, murky water. I don't know what it was exactly about the Wisconsin cabin - the woods, her cousins, the sand on the beach, the nonstop swimming, the bonfire - probably everything combined, but Isabelle was in her element. As we turned into the dirt driveway, surrounded by pine trees, Isabelle started bouncing in her seat. "I'm so excited" she squeaked. She was actually shaking with anticipation. "jane scared.." whispered my sweet little one, not quite getting the magic of a forest.

So often I am hard on Isabelle. She's really shy - to the point of being impolite - a trait that grates against my Texan hospitality. She's also incredibly intense: she has big, loud feelings (including a temper which sortof frightens my husband and i into submission), a healthy appetite, and tons of energy. As a toddler, I would worry about her hurting other kids - she was that strong. But as I saw her play at the lakehouse, totally invested in the moment, I was filled with awe.

As I child, I would have played with the other kids - pretending to enjoy the dirty lake water, the races "back home" and the impromptu soccer games. But the truth was, I'd much rather have been talking with the adults, showing off my social skills. During the weekend at the lake, I realized (again) just how special Isabelle is. I don't want her to be me (what a weird, overly verbal, physically awkward kid I was anyway). I hope I can encourage both of my daughters to embrace themselves - with the minds, bodies, strengths and weaknesses they've been given - learning to use their unique little selves as His instruments rather than the world's (or mine).

5 comments:

Molly Sabourin said...

Sweet. She truly is amazing, your Isabelle. You've described her beautifully.

Bobby said...

Isabelle is awesome! I'm her biggest fan. I thought I would be sad without a son, but Isabelle fits the bill, only in a beautiful, entirely feminine way. I hope she knows how much I love her.

Jenn said...

I love your perspective on your adorable daughter..she is loved! Bobby's words are beautiful...you should save them and your blog about her so that one day she can read them herself!

Kris said...

Wow! How good to find you have are part of this big world of blogs.

Beautiful writing, and beautiful girlies. We so enjoy seeing them.

Ser said...

This post and the last show how different your two girls are. Isn't it amazing? My two guys are totally different as well. It is challenging, fun, and also shows me every day how much of their personality is inborn. You have captured your girls' personalities so beautifully in these posts.