Asleep on my office floor is Small girl aged 5. It is exhausting work colouring in all morning. Sleep can transform a chattering bundle of energy into a somnambulant angel. I have a feeling I went a little heavy on the spice when following the recipe. After all, it isn’t very clear how much spice and how much sugar exactly.
How one small person can contain so much fire constantly amazes me. She does nothing by halves, there is no in-between, and she exists entirely either in black and white or full 3D technicolour.
Wide-awake or dead to the world.
On top of the moon or in the depths of despair.
Furious or ecstatic.
Adoring or vitriolic.
A Valkyrie or an angel.
Being a mother to two small boys and this aforementioned small girl I am reminded often of this quote from Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers?) “It is rare that one can see in a little boy the promise of a man, but one can almost always see in a little girl the threat of a woman.”
I look at my boys and am filled with pre-emptive rage for the girls who will break their hearts. I look at my daughter and feel pity for the boys she will walk all over. I pray my boys find women who will love them unreservedly. I pray for my daughter that she finds a man with enough strength and patience to temper her fire without losing her heat.
It always comes as a surprise to me how a little girl can be so strong and stubborn, and yet so vulnerable and fragile all at once. A fitting metaphor would be a thorny rose bush. She can draw blood and enchant you at the same time.
Her wrath can shake the foundations of the earth
Her tears can make the angels weep
But her laughter can lift you up to the heavens
And her smiles can make the sun burst through the clouds
When she wakes up I’ll take her for ice-cream and she’ll let me give her a hug and not quite understand why I am holding on so tight.