Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scabby-Kneed Girl

My daughter is currently sporting a bruised leg, a minor scrape on each elbow, and a ping pong ball-sized carbuncle towards the base of her scalp...

...which means we're running just about par for the course this week when it comes to injuries sustained.

At twenty-one months old this girl has two older brothers with whom she is DETERMINED to keep up. Unfortunately her physical coordination is no match for her personal enthusiasm, and so it is that she winds up on a daily basis with bruises, bumps, and bonks of all shapes and size sprouting from each part of her body at an alarming rate.

As we move out about town lately I can't help but notice the choruses of, "Oh no Sweetie!! What happened?" that greet us wherever we go. It has reached the point where I am seriously considering changing supermarkets for fear that, one facial bruise from now, some well-meaning checker will turn me in to child protective services.

Because at this point hiding would seem to be my only option. There is simply no slowing this girl down. She continues to hurl her tulle-clad self at the world with reckless abandon. Like a mini mountaineer, she scales every surface of our home gleefully, often finding her way to the top of the bookcase or fireplace mantle before I can retrieve her in a panic. It's kind of exhausting...

...and it is also kind of awesome. I'm genuinely happy to have such a fearless little female human under my care. I love to watch my daughter as she sees her brothers take on a highly ill-advised tree climb. She scrunches up her little face in determination before following right along in spite of being half their size.  

I am embarrassed to admit, as a proud feminist and women's college graduate, that I find in myself a desire to "contain" her that I never felt with my boys. I fight against this odd and foreign voice that wells up in me as I watch her scrambling and scaling that seems to believe that she is too fragile....too pretty get hurt.

I have to actually force myself to remember that injuries are part of the growing process for boys and girls alike, and so I let her dare and roam and bump and bang and cry. I know that she is building some great life skills -- boldness and fearlessness and a feeling that she can keep up with the big guys -- and I pray they will serve her well.

In the meantime, if anyone does question the various scratches and nicks she gets along the way, I just smile and say, "Yup - that's my girl."