Saturday, August 24, 2013

Outcasts and Girls with Ambition.

I am extremely proud of my daughter, Mason.  I get so much joy witnessing her growth. From birth, she has amazed me with how quickly she learns.  As an  infant, she loved to play with foam letters.  Before her 1st birthday, she could put them in order from A-Z.  By 3 years old, she could identify and name every U.S state on a map.

More importantly, Mason is not a girly-girl.  She cares not for frilly dresses or hair accessories.  She is more interested in learning absolutely everything.  From birth, she has wanted books, not Barbies; Sesame Street, not Spongebob; Weather Channel, not Wa Wa Wubbzy.  She is so different than I expected: a thinker! I knew it would be a challenge for me to provide her with constant cognitive stimulation, but I promised her I'd do my best.

And I've kept that promise.  Within Mason's first year, we started reading readiness.  She learned letters.  During the second year, we focused on letter sounds and memorizing small words.  By 3 years old, she could read board books independently.  Now, at 5, she knows hundreds of words. She can, and does, read my blog with very little help. She just 'gets it' and she's blessed with an affinity for numbers too. For fun, she makes up mathematical word problems, ie. "Mom has 8 slices of pizza. Dad eats 5.  How many slices of pizza does Mom have left?" She can count to 1000.  She could go higher; she chooses to stop there.

Mason has dreams for her future.  I have dreams too.  I know she can do great things.  Amazing things.  Make-the-world-better things.  I encourage her to dream big.  She once said she wanted to be a firefighter.  I told her that firefighters are brave and wonderful and the world needs them.  But I encouraged her to think bigger. "What if there were buildings that couldn't catch fire and they were cheap enough for common people to afford them?  What if there was medicine or an operation that could completely remove severe burn scars?  Think science and engineering, Mason!"

And then she dresses like this, tackles her brothers in the living room, and I think, "to Hell with science and engineering.  This girl was born to roller derby!"

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