2002-03-15 - 1:16 p.m.
This entry was written as this month’s collaboration for On Display. The topic was “describe someone you love.”
The person I greeted near the door yesterday was almost as tall as I am, although that’s not saying much as I am less than five foot tall. She was standing there in a striped shirt and jeans. She had two skinned knees, a black eye she had not yet noticed, and mangled glasses. She wasn’t crying although she looked a bit anxious. She was worried that I’d be upset about the glasses.
I was looking at Day-Hay the scrapper. She hadn’t been in a fight exactly but she hadn’t backed off. She’d gone for that volleyball even though a boy thirty pounds heavier had gone for it too—and they had collided. But Day-Hay didn’t regret going for that ball for a moment. That slight glance at the ball, the half-hearted putting out of hands, and the supposedly feminine shrug as it hit the floor a foot or two from her was not her style. She didn’t worry about the way that her eye may look for her party until much, much later.
Full out. If any phrase describes Day-Hay, it’s full out. Once she decides she wants something, she goes for it full out. She’s persistent or stubborn, depending on perspective. She digs in and just won’t quit. Telling her “later” is an invitation to hearing about it five minutes later, ten minutes later, a half an hour later, and two days later—whatever it takes. More than once, her full-out frontal assaults have gotten her dubbed a pest . Although I would like to broaden the tactics to include more subtle ones, I admire her devotion to her causes
Day-Hay is kinetic energy, all stored up and ready to bounce. At twelve, she’s standing ready to move into young adulthood. While other children do it with small steps, Day-Hay’s more likely to do it with bounding leaps and a few astounding crashes. I’m ready to stand back and applaud those graceful leaps. I’m cowering in fear at the thought of the crashes.
Day-Hay is a powerful person although she has not yet discovered that. While she worries about not being good enough and struggles to control those around her, she has not yet conquered the power of her persistence and the strength of that practical bent her mathematical mind possesses. She knows that she has a gift for perceiving pattern but she still is locked in an attempt to force the patterns to change when her ability to spot them may one day allow her to change them gradually before others have even noticed what the patterns are.
Twelve is such a threshold age and Day-Hay is such a threshold person. But soon she’ll be a young adult—full out.
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