My girl is that unusual one . . .
The activist, making signs to “save the prairie dogs” at the soon-to-be developed field
Reading the book about the Civil War, crying throughout dinner
Over those who perished in the war, unable to take a bite.
Who is able to meet adults, professionals,
And have eloquent discussions with them
Yet is too nervous to leave the house to meet a group of girls her own age.
Who blurts out a passage of a book that she has memorized
Because she is not certain of what to say,
And wants to be part of the conversation
Who answers big questions with good vocabulary
While her face is dripping with the water of melted ice,
Because she loves how it feels on her face
Whose hands are cracking, dry, because she hates the feel of lotion
Who flaps like a bird and stomps her feet when she gets excited
Quirks others don’t understand . . .
The excitement that comes from reading the best part of the book
Saving an animal from harm
Finishing the math problems without help
Writing a story
Seeing something beautiful
Watching documentaries about anything prehistoric.
The solar system. The human body.
Who loves anatomy and practices cutting with a scalpel,
Dreaming of her future career as a surgeon
Who can tell me the species of
And intricate details about almost any bug or bird we meet
Who is teaching her little sister how to read and spell
Who can learn just about any new skill in five minutes.
Ten, if it’s difficult.
Who wakes up in the night, crying because her pajamas no longer feel “right”
Who feels the most miniscule rock in her shoe, or chair, or anything she has to touch
Who asks me to put my hand on her lungs to confirm she is still breathing while she sleeps
Who senses my stressful mood before I do, and expresses my emotions before I realize them
Who expects lifelong friendship and connection after playing with a stranger for five minutes.
And is heartbroken when that is not the case.
Who speaks of life and death and the existential beyond
With the understanding of a philosopher
Who remembers events and details about everything more fully than I can ever hope to.
Who loves to learn like a bird loves to fly
And fly she will, someday.
For now, she will swing on the pendulum,
The intensity of the sun
The feelings of a 5-year-old
With the intuition of an adult
The reasoning of a sage
With the tantrums of a child
And an open heart, naive and vulnerable
To everything and everyone around her.
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