Bethel looks like me. She’s got the same smile, same brown eyes, and the same pigtails my mom put on me (although I think my mom did straighter parts than I do). I don’t know about her personality, but there is one characteristic where we are alike, sad to say. I am, quite bluntly, a clutz. I run into things, trip over obstacles that nobody can see, and drop things I shouldn’t. Once in college, I fell down a flight of stairs just as class dismissed (read: lots of people around) and had to get up, retrieve my shoes at the top, and endure people asking if I was okay before slinking off to my next class. I can laugh about it now.
It’s fascinating to watch this same quality develop in a young child. I want to help her be more aware– of where she is walking, of the food on her plate, or her milk cup sitting precariously on the edge of the table. I’ve had to adjust my expectations (her brother is not like us). I finally put a bib on the girl, and I’ve used sippee cups with her more often (although I’d rather do wide bottom glass juice cups filled low, and help her be careful). Holding her hand is more to keep her looking ahead instead of up and around, and prevents running into walls.
What I’ve not been happy about is my habit of commenting in public on this characteristic. I don’t remember my parents ever saying anything about it to others.Â It’s not loving and kind. I do want to try to remember things my parents did (or didn’t do) to help me. I’m going to be in California on Friday for two weeks while Lee is in Ecuador, so I’ll get a chance to ask then.