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Monday, June 10, 2013

Maya Moo: a small package with a lot of punch

There is so much to love about Maya.
First off, she is a very independent and industrious child.  She loves to help.  She loves to figure things out for herself and relish in the accomplishment therein.  She is always game for a new adventure and the mundane is often exciting when you are with Maya because the world is such a cool place through her eyes.   It's kind of like hanging out with Mary Poppins.
For instance, we had a team car wash for the Trek Across Maine and Maya was happy to attend.  She helped me hold the signs advertising the car wash for close to an hour by the side of the road.  With my iPhone tucked into her hood playing our Pandora Raffi station and a rousing game of I Spy, she was content. 
But when we started to get some business is when she really started to shine.

Maya doesn't need much to keep her happy.  A hand to hold, a beach to comb, a hug every hour keeps her bright and smiling. 
Sea glass hunting on Beals Island

Curly-haired, blondy cousins
Maya has such a deep love of nature and beauty. The week after her preschool graduation, she attended a four day imagination camp at the school. They built fairy houses and this was Maya's.   More like a fairy tribute than a house but whose to say what fairies like?

Maya is such a goofball and loves to trick and play games. Sandi's family loves this in equal measure.  You can't really see that Maya's laughing her head off here but she is.  (And no, they are not actually sitting on her.)  She made them do this to her a number of times.

When Maya doesn't care about something she says,"I don't matter."  For instance, we might say, "Maya if you swing that stuffed kitty around by its neck it might rip the head off" and she would reply, "I don't matter."

Maya has adjusted so well to wearing her hearing aids. She is very responsible with them, asks to have them put in, remembers to take them off (better than I do) before her bath and tuck them safely in their case. The improvement in the volume and chaos of our house since she began wearing them is palpable and we often notice that when things get nuts that we have failed to put her hearing aids in. She takes so much of this in stride that we sometimes have to pause and recognize how lucky we are that this has gone so smoothly and that we have a child who can roll with the punches the way she can.

The other day Maya said to me, "I love being a kid."  I said, "Oh yeah?  Why is that?"  She answered: "Because I love having you as my Momma."

It is with a sense of panic that I have realized that next year with both kids in school full time, I will not have time alone with Maya anymore.  I am relishing these last few days with just Maya before Ella is out of school.  Anyone who has more than one child knows the merit of spending time one of one with them.  It is an entirely different relationship in the absence of sibling dynamics. 

Last week we hiked up the very short and steep Bald Mountain in Dedham.  I loved the feel of her little hand in mine as we climbed and then, during the steeper parts, the small heft of her on my back and she clung to me and gabbed in my ear.  We had plenty of time to admire the flowers, investigate nature, profess our love for each other and even eat Teddy Grahams on the summit in alternating patterns of honey and chocolate bears.

She was so proud of herself when she got to the top!

As we were hikinig I got to thinking about the book Blueberries for Sal when Sal has a blueberry picking adventure with a baby black bear.  There are blueberry bushes up on Bald Mountain and I've always hoped not to run into a bear.  (I think this is a very slim possibility, but the mother's mind is an overactive place.) 

I began to run the scenerio through my head.  What if we came upon a bear and it was at all aggressive? I pictured myself tucking Maya into my belly, curling around her like a question mark, and crouching into a desperate version of child's pose with her safely inside.  I realized, with startling clarity, that I would serve myself up on a platter for a bear if it meant even a slight chance at saving my daughter. 

This kind of love, a love that is so uniquely specific to parents a children, yet it is found so abundantly in the human race... if it could be translated to the world at large, imagine the good that could come from it.
There are so many gifts to being a mom, to being Maya's mom.   The way Maya handles life, with ease and joy and gratitude, makes me admire and appreciate her so much. She teaches me how to be more spontaneous, more playful, to see the joy in the single flower petal that has fallen soundlessly to the ground or the way a beam of sunlight makes the kitchen floor look especially radiant.  She loves with such an open, unguarded and generous heart and makes it easier for me to do so.  There is not a day that goes by that Maya doesn't teach me something.

And then there is the fact that in Maya's world, everything holds the possibility of playing monkey.

Yesterday, Maya came running into the house saying, "The baby birds are gone out of the nest!! And the Momma bird too! They are gone!" She had been keeping close watch on our neighbors baby birds.

I replied, "Honey, this is a good thing. It means the baby birds have gotten big enough to fly out of the nest and go out on their own."

She stamped her foot. "This is NOT a good thing! I don't want them to get bigger. I want them to stay in the nest forever!"

Oh, don't I understand that.  Better than she realizes.

Maya, ever the competitor, loves to say things like, "I love you more than you love me." We often say, "I love you bigger than the world."  And she will say, "I love you more than that."  Today I told her I loved her more than chocolate.  She looked amazed.  I told her I loved her more than pasta (her favorite).  She looked utterly astonished, her mouth making a big O.  Then, quick as a whip, she replied, "I love you more than that!"

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