January 18, 2013
By Ekta R. Garg
Enjoy these Spurts from the last couple of weeks, readers!
When we decided to go to my parents’ home for the Christmas holidays, we took several days off from school to make the trip. So Six and Four both missed their pre-vacation holiday parties as well as all those little drawings and art projects teachers design as busy work in the last day or two before vacation hits because the kids don’t actually want to do any work.
After the break the girls went back to school along with their friends, and they both spent a few days after returning to school bringing home many of the things their teachers had saved for them. On one such day, when I picked her up from school Four got into the car with a huge exhale.
“I’ve got thousands of things in my bag,” she said, scooting into her car seat.
“You’ve got thousands of things?” I repeated.
“Yes, thousands of things,” she replied, securing her seat belt buckles with decisive clicks.
I must say, she’s one talented four-year-old to get thousands of things in that bag of hers.
On another day as I drove Six home, we chatted about her friends and what she’d done that day.
“I let S. use one of my gloves at recess because she didn’t have her gloves today,” she mentioned as she looked out the window.
My heart melted a little when I heard that. With every passing week, she seems to grow up just a little more and take more responsibility for those around her.
“It was nice of you to let S. use one of your gloves,” I said, picturing Six and her friend each wearing one glove and then stuffing their bare hands deep into their pockets to keep those hands from succumbing to the sub-freezing temperatures we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks.
“That’s what best friends do,” she replied with confidence.
She mentioned two other friends of hers in school who had shared a coat because of the cold, and I reiterated that it made me happy to hear that she and her friends helped one another.
“Well, they’re BFFs, so they’re supposed to help each other,” she said.
I love the simplicity of my children’s world and how easy it is at this age for them to help one another. If we could retain this sense of selflessness throughout our entire lives, what kind of world would we live in?
Yesterday evening as dinner ended my husband made a joke about growing old and needing IV fluids and catheters, and I told him not to joke about such things.
“Why not?” he asked. “It probably will happen.”
“You don’t need to talk about it,” I reprimanded. “If you stay healthy now, you won’t have to deal with any of that stuff when you get older.”
“What? I’m going to die one day.”
Once again I chastised him as I put away clean dishes so I could use the dish rack to store the dinner plates I would wash. It may not feel like such a big deal for my husband, the physician, to discuss the inevitability of the human condition but I don’t like hearing.
“You don’t have to talk about your future when you’ve got a great life right now,” Six advised him sagely.
“Who told you that?” my husband said somewhat playfully.
“I just made it up,” she replied in a grown-up tone.
I had my back turned to them as I continued working in the kitchen but my husband had definitely paused, most likely to find a way to respond to her. He finally came back with a crack about how he didn’t have a great life, that with two kids to bother him he actually had a miserable life. But I knew in those couple of moments that he didn’t say anything, he saw our older daughter grow up a little more.