Storms and Skeletons
She’s never cared for thunderstorms
But she loves bones and skeletons
Thunder and lightning terrify
Anatomy brings her delight
When storms flare up, she hides against me
She’s not squeamish about her insides
Lightning fascinates and frightens
Her bones fascinate and support
She knows weather has great power
And that her bones are hard and strong
Crashing storms might drive her to ground
Skeletal structure holds her up
How do these things fit together?
Skeletons and storms aren’t the same.
They’re both parts of the same person
Just the way she lives and feels life
As I write this, my daughter is nearing the halfway point between ages 12 and 13. It’s a momentous time of great growth. The things that seemed as though they would always be true for her are sometimes still true, and sometimes changing.
That’s the way of children. It’s a bit challenging, sometimes, because as parents we can forget what it was like when we were kids and life seemed to be changing almost by the moment – with our bodies, our minds, the things we loved and feared…
The actual truth is that, at this point in her life, neither storms nor skeletons hold quite the sway in her life they did a few years ago. Where storms terrified her into hiding right up against me a few years ago, now, on occasion, she just goes on about her life.
Even her fear isn’t what it used to be. And while she still likes skeletons, these days, it has more to do with her enjoyment of a “fashionable horror” edge to her life. She likes the spooky more than the anatomy, just now -
But that doesn’t mean either of these things, or any of a hundred thousand others, are immutable. Children are in a state of growth, and growth is change. I’m endlessly confronted with the proof that it’s a mistake to see my children as though their lives and characters are static.