No school. Time for the learning that can only be given by luxurious unscheduled days.
At the moment Middle child feels through her world primarily through the guise of Other: imaginative play understood, rightly, only by her. School, even the Montessori academy she attends, hardly encourages this private sort of childhood study. I am glad she’s home.
The day before Christmas was the day of the Red Dress. She reminded me of some louche creature from 1922.
In changing dresses, which she does several times a day, she changes personas, and tries on for size all the identities available to her, which are infinite; it’s my job to keep them that way.
She is fascinated by transformation of all sorts, whether it’s a princess getting married or Giselle going mad and then dancing to her death.
The transformation of death is her favorite subject at the moment, and after our beloved dog Sophie died a few weeks ago, and was then cremated, my daughter now speaks constantly of dying, and fire and burial.
Her exploration of these topics is fearless. She possesses a curiosity that is pure and without dogma or the baggage of myth and explanation that fear of the unknown inevitably creates.
As powerful as all the universal mythology surrounding change, creation and passing away is, it is beautiful to live with someone who is without concepts, and to see the fearlessness in her eyes as she muses on subjects that usually inspire terror in the rest of us. She has, I suppose, a sort of innocence Blake understood, and it will fade as all things fade.
But for now I love the red dresses and the passage to exploration they provide.