Charlie Parker, the great be-bop artist who came to prominence in the 1940s for his work with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach and Bud Powell., originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos.
Due to some extremely busy times in our house, I haven’t been able to blog much lately. Apologies are not necessary I know, but I’m a mother and the fact that I did not stop to record Eliza’s 2nd birthday seems…. wrong – as a “mommy blogger” anyway. I mean, it’s not like we forgot all about it! We didn’t invite the entire preschool over to our house or anything (ahem, first born) but we had a good day.
One would think, once you have a second child, that many of the wonders you marveled over with your first child would seem a little duller and little more “been there, done that”. Of course, every child is different and mothers marvel at the navel lint of their 4th in line 19 year old son. Nevertheless, I have to admit that the apprehension is gone. New mothers have a way of working the smallest little achievements or failures into proof of genius or handicap and therefore, proof of guaranteed success or making room for the wii in the basement.
The stakes just seemed higher.
… or was that just me?
No, it wasn’t. Even the most self-proclaimed “laid back” of my friends went nuts over their first born children.
It’s not just me.
To tell you the truth, with Eliza I find that I am noticing the subtle things that make her unique. It’s not the things that make her different from Franklin or how she compares to Dickson or myself. Rather, due to the relaxed nature of raising a second (or third or fourth) born child I am not worried about when she walks, how she structures sentences or if her reading skills will develop at the same rate as her math ability.
Is she healthy?
Can she adjust with her peers?
We are golden.
Nothing else matters because it is irrelevant if she likes books or counting her toes when she’s two years old. Her success will come with her ability to have faith in herself. If she likes herself, I’m not worried about anything else. That’s what I’m trying to teach her – now and until I die.
I’ve noticed her personality grow from an impressionable baby into a wonderful, developing human. She loves Jazz. I’m a closet Jazz fan so to see her body move to Miles Davis on the radio or even Elmo and Diana Krall singing “Everybody’s Song” is a bit of a treat for me.
We read “Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop” every single night. It’s not reading though; it is spoken word up there in her bedroom. There is no allowance for the bare bones pronunciation of the words. When Charlie Parker play’s be-bop, when we barbecue that last leg-bone, when you never leave your cat alone… you have to feel it.
Eliza is child who has opinions. She doesn’t throw temper tantrums too often but she has a definite way of wanting to be seen, heard and handled. She chooses her own clothes, her own breakfast and her own books to read. Any other compromise is met with decisive disapproval. This backbone is something with which I must admit to not having much experience. I’m proud of it… but I’m not used to it.
So, while Franklin teaches her the ways of the Force and how to spot a chalk drawing of Admiral Ackbar from across a coffee shop, she is teaching him how to tell his mother that she’s just plain wrong.
Mutiny is definitely afoot.
- but if the insurrection is played out to the music of “A Night in Tunisia”, I’ll be okay.