The intensity with which she focuses.

Natalie’s new nickname is Barney. It’s short for “barnacle,” due to her new and extremely intense need to be near – nay, attached to – me at all times.  I’m a gal that loves my personal space, but I’m not made of stone:  I do relish and delight in her newfound interest in me just a bit.  Where has it been the past few…well, where has it ever been?

Answer: who cares?  I am loving that I can A.) suddenly do no wrong and B.) now spend hours lounging around snuggling and reading, waxing poetic on just how gross it is to let Billy Thomas* kiss you on the cheek, declaring it important quality time.  For crikey’s sake, think of the children!

This week, while I finished up some grading or something, Natalie found she had some time to kill before dinner.  She wouldn’t leave my classroom, because, as she indignantly announced, “then I might lose you,” –  (I know, my heart cracked just a little, too) — so she set about gettin’ all crafty with her construction paper, glue, scissors and paper clips.  That girl does love a good clip.

(As an aside, my only daughter and I share a love for all things that can be found on the shelves at Staples.  In fact, ’twas only recently we discovered that we both believe a Staples store is at the end of the rainbow!  Thank god for the clingy phase, I say!)

Baby Got Bag

Here – HERE, is the masterpiece she created.  A purse to kick all other purses’ big. fat. butts.  Orange with black polka dots, a kicky little handle and removal clips for easy-ish access.  She finished.  She was quite tickled with it.   She made a runway of my classroom and proceeded to sashay around for a solid 10 minutes.  Then, she had to consider what, in the way of all things pious, would she put in this work of art?

Here – HERE is what she, she alone, decided upon.  Money.  Lip balm.  Music.  Chocolate.   God, how I love this child.

What Else is There, Really?

Soon enough, Saturday rolled around.  Typically, weekends are a great chance for all the kids who live on campus to play freely, checking in with their parents only every few hours.  She went bowling with everyone in the morning, but Natalie and I had a date with a new book and a comfy couch in the afternoon.  Awaiting her return, I prepared the lounge space for us, even got the hot cocoa and mugs ready to go.

When she came in, her eyes roved back and forth between the couch and the mugs, as it slowly dawned on her that she was supposed to do…something, what was it? with me.  Hey, mom, I’m going to go play ‘store’ okay?  Today I’m selling my purse.

I was somewhat aware of behaving like a 6 year old myself when I said  but…but…you said… And then, of course, because I am supposed to be the grown-up in this scenario, I said well, that makes me a little sad.  Why?! she demanded, and then turned and hurled herself from the room, headed down the hall where the kids’ Imagination Mall was built.

Because I might lose you, I answered, but she had gone.

*name has been changed, but if she marries him, this blog is fair game *