For the longest time, Fiona wanted to be a stylist when she grew up. I think it started about a year ago: she suggested that I pair some green earrings with my dress, I said “Great choice, Fiona, you should be a stylist!” and she decided right then and there that she was going to be a stylist when she grew up (it wasn’t until a few weeks later that she asked me what a stylist was). Much talk of dresses and shoes and awards shows later, she started branching out. At this point, she changes what she wants to be daily, sometimes hourly. It makes me happy and a little teary to see her so excited about all the possibilities before her.
Yesterday morning Fiona and I were finishing up breakfast, and she asked me what I wanted her to build. A house, I said. “OK. But I need Daddy’s tools.” (We’ll just gloss over the fact that most of them are mine, I guess that’s for another post.) Once I disabused her of the notion that she could use tools to build me an actual house, she told me she’d build it out of something else.
A little while later I found her wrestling with the big kitchen scissors and a cardboard box. Before she lost a finger I offered to cut for her, and she had me cut off several dozen little rectangles. Next time I stopped by, she was painting them to look like bricks. Different colored bricks for each wall. Her industriousness blows me away.
“Yes. At least until the earthquake hits and we all die.”
We’d talked about it a little. She’d seen it on the news, and I explained to her about how the earth is like a bunch of big puzzle pieces trying to fit together, and luckily we don’t live near any of the pieces that are banging up against each other hard enough to make buildings fall down. She’s not buying it. She genuinely scared.
When the twin towers fell Jake was only five weeks old, and Fiona hadn’t even occurred to me yet. It brought my brain back to a place it hadn’t really been since I was in elementary school and “The Day After” was on TV. I was convinced for a while that there really wasn’t any point to doing anything productive, because I was going to die in a nuclear attack long before I’d have to find a job anyway (of course, this may have been my brain’s way of trying to get out of homework). That kind of hopelessness is a hard thing for a kid to shake.
It will fade eventually though, and be replaced with something else. She’s simply a worrier. There always has to be something on the horizon waiting to eat her or destroy her house or take her family. Last week, it was zombies. Before that, it was ghosts. I kind of miss them. They were easier to deal with than something as real as an earthquake and a tsunami.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, and Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.