In case you've been left wondering if my older daughter has been spending her time locked in a closet all these weeks while little Sydney walks the runway in a fashion show and performs on the giant stage at our university's Musical Arts Center in her ballet recital, you'll be pleased to know that while Sydney commands the stage, Willow is a TV star.
The local PBS affiliate in our university town produces an educational children's show called "The Friday Zone." It has winning young hosts, field trips to local tourist destinations, interviews with local celebrities or other people of note, and craft projects and science experiments demonstrated by the Craft Kids, little groups of children pulled from the community determined by their ability to attend a two-hour taping mid-morning on a weekday in the middle of the school year.
It makes for a fabulous homeschool field trip, actually, since there's a studio tour involved, and you get to run around with kids that you've only just met, and there are craft projects!
Earlier this spring, Matt took Willow to the studio on campus so that she could be one of the show's Craft Kids. She's a little hard to pick out on set, but she's the kid in the back row, on the right, in the green dinosaur shirt:
Ah, there she is!
She had a fabulous time, participated in two different tapings, and, this weekend, finally had the pleasure of watching herself on the big screen:
In case you don't care to watch the entire show, you can find Willow's segment beginning at the 17:20 mark, just after the segment on the junior roller derby (which you should also watch, as they're pretty awesome!).
I tell you what, I have been just amazed at these kids of mine recently. It hasn't been that long since Willow would routinely refuse to speak to a grandparent, much less a TV host, and would routinely refuse to join into conversation or games with her best friends, much less pal around with children she's only just met. She's often so very into her own head, so very impatient with anyone else's agenda, no matter how compelling it's made for her, that I'm thrilled, and very proud, to watch her enjoy being part of a group, to willingly take instruction and participate in a fun project not of her own invention. Don't get me wrong, I've long been thrilled, and incredibly proud, that I have such an independent child who will go her own way regardless of peer pressure, who knows her mind, who will not be persuaded. When I watch other parents interact with their amiable, tractable small children, I often remind myself that later in Willow's childhood and young adulthood I will WANT such an independent soul out in the world along with her silly, flighty peers. Nevertheless, I've always felt that she was missing out on the fun games of her friends, simply because she didn't want to leave a Nancy Drew novel that could be finished later, and I've often resented parenting her through her latest gigantic fit thrown because I wanted her to put on pants so that I could take the girls to some glorious children's museum or hands-on science center and spend all day following them around there.
So it's nice to see my kid chatting with other kids, doing a craft project, sitting where she's supposed to sit and not looking at the camera just as she's been asked not to. And if this new leap in maturity will also help her not throw a half-hour tantrum at the beginning of every whoppingly two-hour schoolday, or help her consent to clean her room or empty the dishwasher at the specific time when I ask her to, at least every now and then, then goodness, so much the better!