We savor the journey of discovering Jackie as the unique person she is. Often she has certain tendencies, different from us, true sparks of genius, and we joke about who she takes after. Isn’t adoption adventurous?!
We see us in her, at different times, and we marvel. She only emulates our habits, our facial expressions, our words, our attitudes, by sharing daily life together.
She uses big words, and she knows what they mean, because she asks me to explain each of them in context. Once. She loves to cross her legs, fold her hands over her knees, and says: “let’s talk”. She uses persuasive ample hand and arm gestures, she enunciates, and she finds public speaking enthralling. She just declared to me that when she is old she is going to talk in front of many people. I asked her what will she talk about. She answered with emphasis: “important things!”
I am an introvert who loves public speaking. I’ve captivated audiences at work, colleagues and clients, mainly because I was passionate about what I was saying; and I never minded talking in front of people in school. But I know even the best and natural gifts need to be polished. Ongoing work. The work can be tedious and humbling.
Take for example me writing. I was told when I was twelve that I have a writing gift that I should develop. But how? Sadly nobody knew how to help me. I was good at science and math, and that had clearer guidelines. So that’s what I pursued in my life, as a means to earn a living. Writing is still a mystery. I’m only figuring out bits and pieces. I find the art of writing is like the art of exploring nature, where you know surviving techniques, you have a few tools and you forge and reroute and push forward and then backtrack. And this dance is part of the journey. Trimming down. Letting go. Finding the soul. Staying alive. Being brave. The more treacherous the nature, the more satisfying.
Jackie is easygoing and adores her daddy, the nature explorer. She takes an interest in his passions, and dives deep. Listens and learns and remembers. She inspires me… on how to love simply and wholly.
There are many times that Conrad and I have joked about J. taking after one of us, especially the unflattering (for us) habits. But I am giddy with excitement to see who she is becoming, and I delight in who she is today.