Monday, October 26, 2015

Why and How

Lately, Raphaela is in this beautiful place intellectually where her curiosity factor seems to have expanded exponentially.  She wants to know how and why everything works, she wants to understand where everything fits into the larger picture. And she has started asking questions about my life in a detailed and interested way.

We spent an hour yesterday exploring every icon on the desktop, pressing every button to see what it did to the screen. It was as much an adventure for me as it was for her, as I am technologically challenged.

She asked me a series of questions about my medical degree and education.  How much homework did I do? How many years did it take to become a doctor?  Where are all my notebooks and school books, "are there more than one hundred"? After perusing my library, she chose a book about how to make natural herbal medicine from food in the house, and decided that we should mix up a batch of something.

Raphaela also wanted a play-by-play of every moment from my first labour pains and until I held her in my arms for the first time.

In the bath last night, in between splashing and playing, we did linguistic comparisons between English, Hebrew, French and Spanish;  Raphaela counted to ten in all four languages and noted that many of the words sound the same, because they share the same root.

This morning while I was packing her lunch box, she followed the electrical cords of all the appliances in the kitchen to their source, to understand where they plugged in.  Then she showed me how to use the microwave, a skill she picked up in school where they warm up their meals if need be.  "You just set the time and press this button, Mommy, easy peasy.  Why don't we use the microwave oven at home more often?"

When Raphaela was a baby, I could chart her progress through visible and substantial achievements, like walking or adding words to her vocabulary, or telling me that she wanted to walk into her nursery classroom by herself, because she was a "big girl now."

Her accomplishments these days are more subtle but no less exciting and impressive.

Right now, Raphaela has decided that when she grows up she wants to be an artist, a Zoo Keeper/Veterinarian, a dancer and a Mommy.  Nothing wrong with a little ambition, and I will surely be proud of her as long as she finds a path that brings her joy and satisfaction, and changes the world just a little.

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