Sunday, May 30, 2010
Like Attracts Like
This year for Memorial Day we told our daughters, ages 12 and 10, they could each invite a friend to come with us to the lake. I admit, I may have had an ulterior motive besides just being the coolest mom ever; I knew they'd bicker less if they were preoccupied with their own selection of people to hang with. Which meant the odds of me being able to read, alone and quietly, on a sun-drenched deck on the shore of a glorious lake, would increase.
This is to be encouraged.
Today we took four giggly girls and the 6-year-old brother on the lake for some boating and tubing. The perfect plan: the boy doesn't really like to tube and the girls each prefer to tube a different way. As each set of girls boarded the tube and held on, I was struck by the types of friends my kids make. They have chosen well and wisely and in sync with who they are, inwardly, on their deepest levels.
The eldest is a talker and thinker. When not tubing, she peered through binoculars identifying birds and explaining to anyone in earshot what they were, what they eat, why they live in Oklahoma. She says things like, "That would be preferable," when asked if she wants to go slower. When we tell her we can go faster she says, "Be that as it may..." the ellipses meaning, "Don't you dare." Her friend's preferred method of tubing aligned directly with hers. They wanted moderate speed, few bumps and really just a pleasant ride. Kind of like two 12-year-old Miss Daisies.
Younger daughter is a straight up thrill seeker. Girl loves to run, jump and play. There is little intellectualizing about her life. She just loves to be. She is almost always happy, she gathers friends like fallen leaves. Her heart is open and alert to everyone. And the friend she brought with her? Same. They giggle and tease, they kick the soccer ball, and they can't go fast enough or high enough on the tube. They wanted to hit the biggest waves, hurl around the most severe corners, jump and flip and finally to fly off into the water.
What parent doesn't love to watch her kids enjoy life? Sometimes, I think that when we get to the lake, leaving "real life" behind, we see a distillation of our kids. I caught a tiny glimpse of this today as they navigated their way through the waves. I am thankful for their differences, for their emotional capacity to befriend and to love, and the vigor of their lives.