Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Emotional Competency * Linguistic Expertise * Proud Parenting

My Little Peach!

It is rare that I call you that, as you are so decidedly a ZORA! We named you Zora in part because it is a strong name. It was the strongest name on our "short list" that we'd arrived at when you were born. We waited to pick a name, wanting to meet you first. Good thing we waited, because after our long long labor, Zora, it was good we'd saved space to make sure you got the strongest name in the Book of Names. Zora. Wow, you are proving yourself. Proving yourself strong. Proving yourself a Zora. At 19 months old, you are strong. Your gaze is strong, your body is strong, and your presence is strong. You have proud parents, Zora. Happy and proud.

I will brag here. I cast aside any self-consciousness about who will read this and find me boastful. You, my dear Little Peach, Zora Peach, are worthy of boasting!

Emotional Competency.

We--you and I---- are a good fit, Zora. There is research about "goodness of fit" between parent and child temperament. I am fortunate to be your parent, in part because our mutual tendency toward emotional expression is becoming evident. Any mother/therapist/mother (my whirling swirling current identity) would be proud to be raising you. At only about 15 or 16 months of age---many weeks ago now-----, you began to turn to me in moments of distress (for example, me not allowing you to have a certain toy at a certain time, for some good reason!), and you said, "Feel sad!" with a poignant and genuine weepy facial expression. I am proud of you, Zora, for your depth of expression, and proud of your Papa and myself for continually taking the time to label and explain emotions to you even as such a tiny and yet-to-be-determined human. You are also accurately labeling things such as "People laughing!" when we walk by jovial bystanders, or "Baby crying!" when we are in ear-shot of a crying babe, or "Silly Zora!" when you want to point out the delightful silly dance that you learned with your nanny Leyley today. I am seeing you grow into an emotionally competent little girl and I am happy. I wish you well in this world. I am proud of you and I am confident that these early emotional building blocks will land you in healthy relationships as an adult. Fingers crossed for you, Zora!

Linguistic Expertise.

I am blown away by you, Zora. Every infant of course emphasizes different aspects of development throughout the course of growth. You, my little friend, have made it easy on your Papa and I in many ways. Different than so many toddlers who have not yet begun to master how to verbally express their needs, you are a tiny "word machine"! Your Papa and I are NOT guessing at what you want or need. We have the ease and pleasure of simply listening to you rattle off your needs, your wants, your delights, your curiosities. At 18 months, you now know more Spanish than either of your parents, thanks to your beloved first best friend, Lesley. Lesley speaks to you in Spanish all day long, playing, singing, dancing, living life with you in Zoraland. A few weeks ago, you said to Lesley, "Quiero mas pizza, por favor." And you regularly talk to me and your Papa in 5 and 6 word sentences, complete with correct verb tenses----distinguishing easily between "walk" "walked" and "walking" as needed. Wow, Zora, in terms of "goodness of fit", you could not please your Papa more with your verbal prowess! He loves explaining complex things to you, and----- I swear I am not misreading you-----you seem rapt with admiration and awe as the two of you "converse" about any number of topics. Goodness of fit on so many levels.

Proud parents.

Have I said enough?

I am consistently moved by your beauty as an emerging human being. So proud. So proud. I love you, my Little Zora Peach.

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