In an effort to better understand my eldest, I've been reading "The Highly Sensitive Child." Wow, do I wish I'd been reading this all along. Since the people who frequent this blog all know me well, it will comes as no suprise tp learn that when completing the Highly Sensitive Person questionairre I checked all 27 for myself. When I was pregnant with Ava she would jump every time I pushed the lever down to drain the bathtub. She is cautious, observant, intuitive, uses big words comfortably, incredibly compassionate, easily overwhelmed, complains A LOT, and just generally experiences all things very deeply. Erik and I field over 100 questions daily---"What would happen if...Why?...How do you know..." The other day I was working on writing something while she was drawing and in a 5 minute period she asked me 10 questions regarding concentrating...What it meant, how you do it, and my favorite, if she was concentrating harder than me. The answer? Undoubtedly since she kept interrupting. This morning she wanted to know where our car would be if we went to visit Annabelle in Malaysia. Last night she was putting on a "dance contest" for me and Safa. She was the only contestant. She reached a particularly frenzied portion of her dance and I asked her if she had a lot of energy to get out before bedtime. She replied matter of factly, "Well, if all my energy comes out, I'll just pause the music and lay down." It is an interesting thing watching a person become themself. I sometimes have to remind myself that Ava is just a person trying to make her way through life just like I am and that just because she is 4 her experience isn't any less important than mine. As children get older it becomes more challenging to find space for all the different people going on about life in one house. What a gift I have been given in the challenge of trying to do this gracefully and with as much compassion as I can muster for myself and the four other people in our family that Ava so aptly refers to as "crowded".