Monday, February 21, 2011

Being eight

I was able to hang out with my little sister yesterday. I had to limp around cause my stupid foot is killing me but I did it cause hanging out with her is worth the pain and suffering. I know I have mentioned Michaela before but let me tell you a little bit about her.  She is a smart fun eight year old who I have been luck enough to know now for over a year and has made my life so much more meaningful. She is super smart she reads beyond what I would expect but I guess I don’t really know what the eight year old reading standards are being that she is the only one I know. She struggles with math and sometimes that makes her feel dumb. I have told her more then once that everyone even the really smart people struggle with some subject or another. She says that she wants to be a scientist when she grows up but in the same breath she says that she doesn’t like to tell people that’s because girls aren’t supposed to want to be scientist. I had a long conversation with her about how she is right at this point in her eight year old life it’s a negative thing and sure she might get made fun of. But I assured her that at some point it’s going to be the most awesome rocking thing ever for her to tell people she wants to be a scientist, especially because she is a girl.  I mean admit it once you hit college what you want is a smart scientist girl. I don’t think she completely believes me but she trusts me enough to pretend she does.

Michaela has a complicated life. At only eight years old she has had a lot of changes. She has attended a different school every year. She has a lot of half brothers and sisters, both with her mom and dad. She has moved three times just in the time I have met her.  She has family that she isn’t close with and family that she can’t be close with because they are out of state. She has a father who isn’t around much and has spent some time in prison; her mother is great but suffers from anxiety and is unable to go out a lot. They are low income and very depended on the system for money, food and care.  Her mother is great and obviously loves her so much and is honestly doing everything in her power to give Michaela the best life ever. It’s just that she had her young and has found her life being just as complicated.  But out of all of this she is just this happy go lucky eight year old who has no clue that life is so chaotic. She is just existing and doing the only thing she can. She has that child eye view of the world where you have no clue about the future yet and the present is all flowers and candy. Well not literally but you know what I’m talking about.  The worry I have with Michaela is that some day it’s going to hit her that her life has been kind of crap. She might meet people and compare growing up and realize that in some regards she got dealt a crappy hand.  She might not have a clue how to handle that and instead act out or do things like drugs and sex and forget that she wants to be a scientist. I can only hope that if that should ever happen she will have me in her life to remind her about what she really wants and to be a stable person she can go to with anything.

I see a lot of myself in eight years old in Michaela. She is funny as heck, super chatty about nothing, but still kind of shy. She would rather hang out with one person then have to talk to a big group. She is very independent; she totally walked up to the counter on her own to order her pizza and later to ask for a glass of water. She is super curious about everything and wants to touch every button and dial just so see what happens. She is determined to do something and she does. She is so creative and it’s obviously that’s her strength.  She wants desperately to be a part of a soccer team but knows that she can’t cause its too expensive. She is happy just playing in the park or at the beach or running around the fountain. She truly finds the joy in simple things.  She comes up with these crazy ideas of things to do at a drop of a hat and I love that about her. She has this freedom and craziness in how her mind works.

I try to think back to what I was like when I was eight. Its hard cause it was a while ago but I remember being really happy. I had a good relationship with my family and my family did a lot of things together, we went lots of places both in town and out. We had a lot of camping trips as a family did a lot of hiking and biking, went to the zoo, museums, and aquarium, basically just enjoyed each other. I was close with my brother; we were close enough in age that he was more of a friend then not. And honestly at eight I think we might have still shared a room. I was involved in swim team and soccer and choir. I had friends who I saw often and had the typical girl dumb fights with where you hate each other one day and love teach other then next, all over something stupid. I was doing well in school still at eight I was smart and well liked by my teachers and worked hard in school. I was a pretty good kid and at that point I was really genuinely happy. I wonder sometimes what I would be like if life hadn’t gotten so complicated later on and I had been able to just stay that course forever

So we went to the kid’s museum yesterday. She said that she had gone once before and we were able to get in for free. It was maybe a tad to young for her and I think the best part was where they let you do art work. Oh and all the reading, she really amazes me with how much she reads and much less understands. She said that she would really like to go to the Science Center because she has never gone. I would love to take her sometime especially because I know how much she loves science so I want to support and feed this desire in whatever way I can.  So we spent the day walking around the museum, eating pizza by the fountain and watching her run around all crazy. It was a blast to be honest.  What’s great about Michaela is that she couldn’t care less about anything about me or my lifestyle or anything; to her I’m just her big sister.  Its simple I know, but to me that’s a really powerful thing. 


1 comment:

  1. You were super cool eight year old also and i am so glad you are Micheala Big Sister! Mom