My mother has a pretty diverse group of stories that she likes to tell about my time as a child. Some of them I find funnier than others, often dependent on who else is the audience for the telling. Some of them I found a lot funnier before it became apparent that my daughter is turning out to be a lot like me.
One of her favorites involves a school “field day” when I was about a year or two older than Alaina is now. Ever supportive, my mother arrived at the school and walked across the parking lot towards a soccer field full of several hundred elementary schoolers participating in tug-of-war, three-legged races and other assorted feats of semi-athletic prowess. She spent most of the walk shaking her head at the two boys that had decided that rolling down a hill shouting expletives was much more fun than a potato sack race.
One of the two kids was me, of course. The swears were actually “frak” and “feldercarb”, made up words used in the totally awesome television series Battlestar Galactica by Lieutenant Starbuck. Her confusion at what I was saying is understandable.
Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself walking across a different parking lot, but having the same thoughts that my mother did over thirty years ago. “I really hope that’s not my kid over there.”
It is, of course. Every time.
She’s not rolling down hills or yelling out fake words from late ’70s science fiction, she’s just always one of the two kids seen rolling around in the dirt wrestling. End of day recess has turned into a pint-sized battle royal with my daughter the undisputed champion.
For a while the teachers discouraged this roughhousing, but it appears they’ve given up. In a refreshing reversal of expectation the kids are allowed to actually be kids. She’s not fighting, just playing rough, proving the boys wrong that apparently told her that she “isn’t tough.”
I like that she isn’t afraid to mix it up and get a little mud on her jeans. As long as the other kid knows ahead of time that he is playing the part of a “bad guy” and it’s not happening out of anger, I say let ’em go.
She’s loud, a little obnoxious, and needs the leaves picked out of her hair before we go meet mommy, but that’s my kid over there. What of it?