I often marvel at my Rachel girl. Monday was hectic, as usual. Rachel ran in from school, changed into her leotard and we immediately left for gymnastics.
"Mom, I need a note for gym. We're having a backhandspring contest and I've done 428 of them since last week." She hands me the note to sign which she has already written. I notice that she has taken time to write neatly and everything is spelled correctly.
I suppose I should be surprised at the number of handsprings she's thrown. But I'm really not. Her teacher has asked her to do 100 per day and she works at it continually. 100 sounds impossible, but it really isn't if she has the time. But the thing is, she doesn't really have the time. She is quite possibly the most over scheduled 7 year old I know. From gymnastics, to dance, soccer, art, school and friends. And yet, she thrives on the schedule. I worry over her constantly, and am always watching for signs of stress and exhaustion. But happily she rolls along.
From gymnastics, we did another quick change for her soccer game. I watched her in the mirror as I pulled her hair back into a pony. In constant motion, and in constant conversation she demonstrated the 5 (or is there 6?) ballet positions to me in the mirror. Happily she turned pirouettes down the hall as we hurried to the car. I only scolded her once as I feared the twirling in her cleats might just scratch my hardwood floors.
From a fabulous soccer game with an intense defensive effort, to homework and then bed. Only to begin again the next day. So many things come so easily to Rachel. She is smart, she is talented, she has amazing artistic and athletic ability. At times her physical ability amazes me, only to be more astounded by her mental toughness and determination. I recognized long ago that Rachel has set her own path, she is directing her life; and I, I am only here in a supporting role. For as talented and capable as she is, she is also very stubborn (she did get something from me). I have had to learn to let her lead, to step back as she willingly takes risks, to hold my breath as she makes choices and finds her way.
As we were driving home from soccer, she calls out from the back seat:
"Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a Slurpee girl or a gas station girl."
Tony and I snicker in the front seat and Tony responds "Go for your dreams Rach."
I can hardly contain my laughter and carefully ask her "Exactly what does a Slurpee girl do?"
"She gets Slurpees for people. Duh! Well, maybe I'll be an Orthodontist."
Relieved, I answer "That sounds like a great goal Rachel."
"No mom, not the orthodontist, orthodontist. I mean the orthodontist girl. You know, the girl that changes the wire?"
And so it goes, my ever so capable, talented and smart little girl, aspires to be the Slurpee girl or the Orthodontist girl. And that is the way she rolls.