Some three-year olds I know have the calm serenity of Gautama Buddha. They sit quietly collected into themselves, quietly absorbed in a task or observing the world.
My granddaughter Zadie is not one of them.
She is an exuberant firecracker, jumping about, dancing, running, exploding in screams of delight with an abundant energy that could light Las Vegas. If we could figure out how to lease her to the power companies and run her on a treadmill, it would pay for her college education. If the labelers got ahold her of her, they might invent a new category of ADHHHHD.
But the way I see it is that she simply got a large dose of life force doled out to her and though it can be exhausting to some adults running at a different speed, let’s call it infectious exuberance. Once you get drawn into her orbit, you can catch a bit of that unbridled excitement that runs through her veins. Goodness knows we could all use a bit of that as life tries to flatten us down to the vegetative state of couch potatoes.
Yesterday, we played the new drum together I bought her, she danced while I played ukulele to her directions of “Stop!” and “Go!” and “Faster!” We walked to brunch—or rather ran from one corner to another while “the big bad wolf!” chased us. I sat while she scurried around her play kitchen singing while cooking for me and feeding me. She kicked away laughing as I tried to get her pajamas on until (and I can’t believe I did this!) I had to remind her about Santa and naughty kids (it worked!). And to balance out this portrait, she did sit relatively still as I read her some of the new books we gave her as belated birthday presents.
Today is Thanksgiving and isn’t it obvious what I’m thankful for? Amidst hundreds of other blessings, Zadie stands out, twirling an electric gizmo I bought her over her head. At three, she is a powerful dynamo of sheer energy, but as Blake said, “Energy is eternal delight.” Watch out, World, and don’t say I didn’t warn you! Zadie is here!”