Emma came home yesterday afternoon and showed me this.
“Pink,” she said proudly. Jackie had taken Emma for a manicure. And not only had Emma sat still for it, she liked it! I’ve been giving Emma manicures and pedicures since she was a baby. She likes having her toenails painted, but never her fingernails. This was a first!
That afternoon we took the children swimming. While Nic and Richard threw a football back and forth, Emma and I sat in the shallow end and Emma said, “No Sarah cannot throw the bottle. Sarah! You have to leave the room! Sarah is sad.” Emma then looked very sad and nodded her head.
Suddenly I had an idea from my conversation with my friend Ib, who has told me about her theatre training and how much that’s helped her. I couldn’t figure out how to get Emma to act out the emotions she was saying, so instead I said, ”Hey, Em, I’m going to pretend to be Sarah, okay?”
Emma nodded her head and grinned. ”Yeah, Sarah is sad,” she repeated.
I began to pretend-cry.
Emma watched me for a second with a little frown on her face and then she said, “Soufien is so angry! Grrrr!”
I shook my fist and pretended to stomp my foot under the water while grimacing, “Oh! That makes me so angry!”
Emma smiled, “Justus is happy!”
We went on like this for almost twenty minutes with Emma attributing an emotion to a child in her class and me acting out the emotion, though I did stumble a little on “shy.” These are all emotions Emma has read about in the book – The Way I Feel – by Janan Cain. Emma adores that book. We’ve gone through at least three copies of it over the years. But what is interesting is that Emma was taking all the emotions described in the book and applying a child she knew to each of them. I don’t know that I’ve had a back and forth interaction with Emma that has ever lasted this long. It was incredible.
When we got home, Emma donned her pink bathing suit, which also happened to match her pink fingernails, and ran through the sprinklers until it was time for dinner. (Notice Emma’s string, which has resurfaced and she has added to in the past month.)
Today the Aspen Ideas Festival begins, so things will be a bit hectic for the next six days. But I will continue to post here.