Last year I took this picture at one particularly bleak, rainy, underwater baseball game. It’s a typical picture. Wanda. Watching people do cool stuff she’s not old enough for yet.
When I showed it to Dan, he pointed out the unintentional similarity to the famous National Geographic cover of the Afghan Girl.
She was a refugee.
Wanda feels like that sometimes, lost, displaced, denied basic rights like eating donuts for every meal.
She sits. And she waits.
When you’re the youngest, you do a lot of waiting.
Waiting for your turn to play soccer.
Waiting for your turn to learn piano.
Waiting to ride the school bus.
Waiting to learn to read.
Wanda has always been my portable child. She was practically born on the soccer field. I was pregnant for the first half of the season, waddling to Laylee and Magoo’s games and practices four times a week. I gave birth and then brought her to games for the second half of the season. And every season since.
And basketball. And dance. And volleyball. And baseball. And math competition. And piano recitals. And band concerts. And science fairs. The list goes on.
Sometimes she gets antsy and people might think she’s impatient. I think she just used up a lifetime of patience in five years. She is done waiting.
This year it’s her turn.
She started kindergarten with a bang, running off the bus so fast when it arrived at the first day of school that she didn’t even see me standing there with the camera.
And she plays soccer like her mom. What she doesn’t have in skill, she makes up for in charismatic brutishness. And she’s having the time of her life.
Yesterday Laylee and Magoo were whining about having to watch her soccer game in the rain, her soccer parents while I attended a meeting at the middle school. I laughed and told them it was the circle of life. It’s Wanda’s turn now.