Friday, January 28, 2011

My Daughter Thinks Well of Herself

The other day, we spent a few hours at the car dealership getting some recall repairs done on the minivan. Evidently, there is no such thing as a loaner minivan, and three car seats do not fit into the back of a standard loaner car, so we were stuck there for a while.

It was fine. Everyone did great--I brought 14,000 things to do for each of us and snacks and drinks. When necessary, I know how to hunker down with small children.

Another little girl was in the playroom with my kids. She was about Ryan's age, and she and Morgan began to play together, drawing pictures and chit-chatting. I sat back and knitted and helped Sean with snacks and just generally observed Morgan and the other girl.

It was fascinating. Morgan, completely unaware of being observed, was friendly and engaging with her new friend. This isn't such a surprise to me, really. She's generally very friendly with other kids, but this is the first I'd seen her interact with a complete stranger in a long while. She was very . . . mature somehow. She drew a picture for the other girl (a dog!), and when the other girl thanked her for it, she replied, "Well, I knew you'd probably like it. I AM an artist, you know."

What might have sounded pretentious coming from the lips of an adult sounded direct and honest coming from Morgan. And cute. :o)

And it occurred to me: Morgan thinks highly of herself.

She is confident and funny and nice and smart. Of course I knew all of this about her anyway, but sometimes she is so quiet and introverted at home that it's harder to see. Out in the world, interacting with a new friend, I was able to see evidence of her self-esteem in a different way.

As a matter of fact, she had ". . . the open, joyous, friendly confidence of kittens who do not expect to get hurt, [she] had an innocently natural, non-boastful sense of [her] own value and as innocent a trust in any stranger's ability to recognize it . . . ." --an adaptation of a sentence or two from Atlas Shrugged. This is exactly how she was that afternoon.

The other girl was impressed with Morgan's reading ability (they'd compared reading and math skills and grade levels while I was in the bathroom apparently). She taught Morgan how to subtract three digit numbers with borrowing (boy do I love it when other kids do my homeschool teaching for me!) and kept saying "Well, you're pretty smart, so I know you can learn this . . . ." And Morgan would return the compliment: "Well, you're pretty smart at math! Wow!"

(As an aside, I can't recall Ryan ever having a similar conversation with another little boy. Probably it's partly personality, but usually when he meets someone he hits it off with, they usually spend their time together running all over the place, shooting Bad Guys.)

Maybe part of the joy of older kids will be getting to watch and observe them in situations that don't directly involve me. That, and seeing how their sense of self worth is put into action.

Anyway, this little glimpse of my child from the outside really just makes me smile. :o)

A "Thinks Highly of Herself" kind of pose, don't you think? 


Hanah said...

That is totally awesome!

Miranda Barzey said...

Oh, Morgan. Such a cutie pie. I never thought of it explicitly in these terms, but she is quite sure of herself. In class, she's always showing off her (damn good) signing skills, but never in an arrogant way.