Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

These Symbiotic Sister Catalysts

One child thrives in the literal, and the other the imaginative. Beatrice has struggled with, and thankfully adapted to, a noisy and overwhelming world where she longs to take a beat atop a clearing on a hill to comprehend clearly what's before her, one thing at a time. Bryce seemingly thrives in storied ambiguity where wild lands of fairies, unicorns, puppy dogs and rabbits rise from the floor and carry her away on one adventure after another.

It's not that both of them can't perceive the way the other does, because they can, but one is much more able to articulate her imagination than the other. Watching Bea the past few years play silently with her toys or her many collections of small things -- jungle animals, dinosaurs, insects, movie collections with the most recent being from Inside Out -- I can see her mind working away and making sense of her world, weaving tales of simple triumph.

Like me when I was her age, she's pretty quiet about it, because expressing it can be more challenging and sometimes out of order. But mercy that mind is brilliant. Watching her quickly solve puzzles with the Cool Circuits game she got for her birthday is inspiring.

That's why Bryce is a catalyst for Bea's verbalized artistic expression. The Mama sees and hears this all the time, that Bryce is an atom split and the resulting fission is infectious. I'll hear them upstairs, the feisty Princess Bryce taking Bea to a faraway world where unicorns fly (pegacorns actually) and talk and participate in stuffed animal pet shows with fabulous prizes. Bea follows the lead well, laughing comfortably in Bryce-world until one of the two is done or makes the other mad (they are sisters, you know).

And when Bryce wants to tell us all something the energy released could power entire cities within 100 miles.

"Guys, guys -- I have to tell you something --"

That's usually how she prefaces her story, a fantastical interpretation of something from her day, or something from somebody else's day, maybe something inspired by the literal Beatrice who just "told us something" matter of fact like, "The wasps tried to get our lunch at school today."

"Guys, guys -- I have to tell you something -- the wasps came and stole our food and then carried us all away to the flower garden where the pegacorns live and helped us make cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles and a frickin' buttload --"

That last part unfortunately is courtesy of the Mama and Daddy saying inappropriate things in front our highly perceptive and bright princess nuclear-reactor with pink-rimmed glasses. Then, like her little bird toy that repeats everything, then Bea starts repeating the same unfortunate expression. However, when we do appropriate things in front of them, like the fun "elephant toothpaste" science experiment the Mama just did with them was such a "gas" to watch.

One child thrives in the literal, and the other the imaginative, but they're both creative, resourceful and smart. It's a joy having these symbiotic sister catalysts to parent.

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