This morning was one of Natalie’s days at school. She and Jacob are attending DaVinci Innovation Academy which is a hybrid school- they attend public school 2 days and then stay at home with me for home school 3 days. As we walked together into her classroom, she was being extra clingy. She didn’t want me to leave just yet. Since class hadn’t started yet, I asked her what it was she’d like for us to get to do together before I left. She pulled a fairy chapter book off the shelf. I knelt down on the rug, she plopped herself onto my lap and wrapped my arms around her. She wanted to snuggle close. Times like these just melt my heart. In my mind my thoughts were racing- I needed to leave in order to make it on time to my 9:15 appt. at the Starbucks on Rosecrans. With each passing minute I was going to be that many more minutes late for that meeting. Aaaaugh. Eeek. And then I took a deep breath. “Hold onto moments like this Marina. Hold onto them. They won’t be here forever.” So in that moment I chose to make Natalie’s request for snuggle time the priority. I started reading the fairy book to her, whispering its contents into her ear.
A few pages into the book, all of a sudden Natalie said aloud “Mama, look. Today Seneca wore her hair down.” I looked up from the book and saw her cute friend Seneca who had entered the classroom. Indeed her hair was down and she had a headband in her hair. But how did Natalie take notice of that so quickly? And what part of her brain stores that type of pattern information? Apparently this was the first day of the school year that Seneca wore her hair down. All the other times she’s worn it in a high pony tail. Natalie noticed. And she noticed instantly. I need to stop being surprised by her acute observational skills. And yet it continues to surprise me.
Several weeks ago the four of us were out to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. We were sitting there eating pizza. I nudged Steve to take a glimpse at Natalie. She had her pizza in one hand and her eyes were intently watching the goings-on of the restaurant. Steve asked her, “Natalie what are you doing? What are you looking at?” Natalie responded with this tone of duh! of course….”Daaaaaaaad, I’m people watching!” “You should see- that lady over there has the E-X-A-C-T same hat on as that person over there!” So of course we looked. And yes, sure enough, on opposite ends of the restaurant were people donning the exact same style/type/color of hat. Steve and I exchanged a glance of “this is hilarious and crazy all wrapped up in one.” She’s only 5. How is it possible for a 5-year old to be so interested in making observations and honing in on details? Well, our Natalie is.
She is an observer. A very good one.
And she notices details. She’s definitely my detail-girl!
Let’s just hope that doesn’t mean she’s on the road of wanting to become a perfectionist. 🙂