ruth has been in gymnastics since she was fifteen months old. if you want the olympics, you have to start ’em young. just kidding. i do think it has served her well. i could go into detail about body awareness and physical confidence, but i don’t want to sound like one of those weird parents. not that i’m not one of those weird parents. i am. i just don’t want to sound like one. plus, she seems to enjoy it (mostly because there is enough room in the cavernous space that they practice in for her to avoid all of the other kids, and the coach, and do her own thing. that’s fine). whenever i ask her afterwards which activity she liked the best, she says the trampoline or the rings or jumping on the big cushions. but the truth is, what she really likes to do while she’s there most of all, is run. greg has the week off from work and came along with us yesterday so i actually had a chance to take a few candid shots. and a video. you’ll see what i mean.
i turned to greg and said, “i think she’s in the wrong sport. is there a track team for two-year-olds?” ever since she has been able to, she has loved to run. she has this sort of stiff as a board posture as she goes, too, which, to me, looks sort of comical, with her super-fine hair bobbing back and forth over her head like it was seaweed underwater. and she’s fast. one of the greatest things about being a parent is watching your kid have fun with total abandon. i’ll go a step further and say, when they are doing something they love, that it seems they are meant to be doing. ruth is meant to be running. why not? she runs from other people, the camera, any kind of coercion of any sort. she is meant to be free, unencumbered, and moving. i will take a gamble here and say that she is a loner by nature (i hate to put labels on her that may influence how other people approach her). she does her own thing and will not be one to go with the grain. oh, no. she is more like a stubborn knot in the wood, round and complete within herself.
yes, i could see her running cross country, nothing but the wind in her ears, slim body slicing through the morning dew. and when she crossed the finish line, her smile would spread across her face. a smile for herself. no one else. i don’t think she would even hear any applause.
but what the hell do i know? i’m just her mother.
we recently went to a friend of ours baby shower open house, which, as the soon-to-be-father aptly said was like a “house party with kids”. it was a very fun celebration with adults and kids co-mingling, chatting, coloring (the kids, not the adults), and drinking (the adults, not the kids). they even broke out a few of their extensive record collection and would you believe we listened to records with a record player?? anyways, the food was delicious and a hodge podge of various salads and interesting foods that you could eat with toothpicks (of course all of the kids, seeing something pointy that they could potentially impale themselves with instantly went for these). ruth said she was hungry and greg filled up a plate with things to see if anything struck her fancy. well, would you believe that she loved the chicken curry, as long as greg fed her the bits with a toothpick (i think maybe that was the real appeal. something to keep in mind for at home). and this from a girl who, at one point, would eat nothing but broccoli and crackers.