This week, Sophie learned to jump-rope. And ice-skate. And skate-board.
And cartwheel.She hasn’t mastered any of these skills, yet, but she keeps on cheerfully practicing them, improving almost daily in a way that astounds me. I’m proud of her but also a little bit wistful: she is growing up so fast.
“Wheeeeeeeeeeeee,” she said while she was ice-skating, desperately clutching the rink wall but still getting her feet balanced below her, “My body was made to do this.” Such confidence is strange to me.
We signed her up for skateboarding classes, which might ruin the whole spirit of skateboarding, but might also give her some basic skills she can then explore on her own. Who knows. We’re entering the stand-back-and-watch-her-grow-on-her-own part of parenting. I didn’t quite realize how early it would come.
During skateboarding class, she fell down once and started sobbing. I hesitated — I didn’t want to helicopter in — but then I left my perch on the bleachers, walked over to her, and comforted her. It’s one of the unexpected rewards of parenting, I think: being able to comfort another person so well. After my reassuring hug, she got back on her skateboard, and I returned to the sidelines.
That’s what I do these days. I notice now that most of these pictures are from behind her, watching while she rushes forwards into so many new skills all at once.
Everett, too, is growing up quickly.
He’s tall enough now to reach the table and help himself to the cookie dough I’m trying to cut.
That photo is from New Year’s Eve, when some of my friends posted on facebook: “Hooray, I’m home with my kids tonight, it’s so wonderful,” while a few others posted, “Ugh, I’m home with my kids tonight, it’s so lame.” I mostly fell into the wonderful camp, this year.
We got to see four generations of our family together, enjoying Southern California.
And Everett attempted his own version of skateboarding.