Friday, April 27, 2007

Our fabulous eight year old

Renaissance man: noun. A man having varied interests and expertise in several areas.

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Renaissance Girl wakes up early, as she does most days. The house is quiet -- all other members of the family are still sleeping. Ren Girl decides to read for a while. She looks at the stack of books by the side of her bed and selects a book about horse care.

After a while she gets dressed: t-shirt, shorts, Teva sandals, digital watch. She's ready for a day of action and movement. All that remains is to have her hair fixed. She brushes her golden tresses until they are silky smooth and then wanders over to her parents' bedroom to see if Mommy is awake yet.

Ren Girl, "Mommy, can you fix my hair in a ponytail please?"

Mommy, mumbles incomprehensibly. She's clearly not open for business yet.

Ren Girl looks hopefully over at Daddy. He has been known to help with ponytails in
the past, but he's definitely not a morning person and the results at this early hour could be disastrous. Ren Girl decides to wait.

After a while, the entire family wakes up and heads to the kitchen for breakfast. Renaissance Girl starts off with vitamins and then has fresh fruit, yogurt, and cereal. Brain food for a brainy girl. She has a big appetite and her parents makes sure she starts the day off with a full stomach.

Renaissance Girl and her family walk to school every day. Today, as always, the topics of conversation are varied, as Ren Girl has a lot she'd like to cover. She's concerned about the state of the rain forest, which she has not yet been able to single-handedly save. She also can't decide what kind of vet she wants to be when she grows up. She wants to work with exotic animals, but also loves domestic ones too. Ren Girl decides to postpone the decision until she's older, but she's giving it a lot of thought in the meantime. Renaissance Girl is also interested in architecture and interior design and offers some ideas for the various projects her parents are working on around the house.

During school, Renaissance Girl is an active contributor in class. She has a lot of ideas and wants to share them. She writes a short story during her spare time, reads up on ancient Egypt, and then works on her art. During recess, she joins in a spirited girls vs. boys soccer game. Other days, she might play with a friend and pretend to be tigers. There's just so much to do!

After school, Renaissance Girl doesn't slow down, not one bit, there's no time for that. She quickly unloads her backpack and then heads to the backyard to see what's changed since she was there yesterday. There are rocks to collect and study, birds to watch, and flowers to smell. Later on, she takes a break to do her homework and have a snack. Today's assignment is math, which Renaissance Girl zips through with ease. Then she reads her library books -- lately she's been reading about fairies, the Titanic, and books by Roald Dahl, but she's also interested in history, animals, the rain forest, volcanoes and earthquakes, gardening, and so much more.

Dinner is a lively affair, as Renaissance Girl contributes to the conversation frequently. She tells a funny story about something that happened in class that day, starting with:
"The star of today's incident in school was Savanna. The setting: lunch. And here's what happened..."

Sometimes she'll share an aphorism, such as "Life Lessons: Never trust cootie catchers."

After dinner Renaissance Girl spends some time
bossing around sharing her extensive knowledge with her younger sister, the Super Hero. Alas, the Super Hero isn't always interested in learning from her older sister, so she punches her and ends up in time out, leaving Renaissance Girl to play alone. Not at all deterred, Ren Girl uses this opportunity to play with all of the Legos and not have to share with anyone.

As bedtime approaches, Renaissance Girl is slowing down. She has a leisurely hot shower, during which she ponders a variety of topics, most of which are unknown to her parents. She settles into bed with yet another stack of books. At 9:00, her parents tuck her in and kiss her goodnight. Then her father snuggles with her for a little while and they talk about the day. Whereas Ren Girl's mother gets to spend time in the afternoon with her girl, the father has claimed bedtime as his special time for chatting. This is usually when Renaissance Girl tells her secrets, talks about her worries, and plans for the future.

Eventually, however, even Renaissance Girl needs her sleep. She yawns, snuggles into her piles of blankets, and drifts off to sleep. Tomorrow is another day of learning and exploring.

Good night Renaissance Girl.

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