A mountain

Rae and YaYa, originally uploaded by journeymama.

Tonight we drove out as far as we could (okay, not as far as we could) to see the eclipse. It was wonderful, except for the occasional whine from a child who was JUST SO COLD. I would love to see these children in an actual winter climate. Although they would probably contrarily be ecstatic.

Anyways, even Leafy said, "The moon is so boodiful!" And we saw Saturn. And I showed Kid A and YaYa Orion, which has always been my favorite constellation, ever since it was my connection to Chinua, when we were thousands of miles away from each other, long before we were married. I would sit on the beach in San Diego and listen to the waves and when I saw Orion, I would breathe a prayer for my friend, the man who would one day become my husband.

There is a reason that I reposted this old picture. And it's not because I'm really admiring that knit head band thingy (where IS that thing? I really LIKE it) but because I have never been more proud of YaYa than I was today.

Because today she wore a sock on her hand all day.

She has sucked those two fingers ever since she was about four months old. We have numerous pictures of YaYa as a baby, YaYa as a toddler, YaYa as a three-year-old, sucking her fingers. She does it ALL. THE. TIME. Not just for bed, not just for consolation. ALL THE TIME.

But I have this funny list of things I need to do before we go to India. Things like, Find storage, Find a good shipping company, Train next bookkeeper, Buy sleeping bags, Buy kid back packs, Buy stroller. And then these odd things like Help YaYa stop sucking her fingers, Potty train Leafy.

And you can guess which one we are working on today.

I really didn't know how it would make me feel. I didn't realize that my rush-in-and-protect instincts would swarm all over me and smother me and almost make me say "Never mind! Just joking! You can just keep those fingers in your mouth until your boss complains!"

I didn't say it.

It is time, and my brave, strong girl met the time to quit head on. Her teeth are visibly shifting. And I completely do not want her touching things on trains and buses in India and then putting her fingers in her mouth. Nope.

I also didn't know that I would almost burst with pride. That I would see her thousand little reflexive moves toward her mouth, and then the stifling of the reflex, and then the hand that didn't have a place to be and so tentatively lay in her lap, and her mouth moving self-consciously around itself, that I would see all these things and my heart would melt, for her strength.

I don't know that I've ever witnessed as much determination in overcoming something so deeply ingrained, in any of my kids before. This is no small thing. She doesn't remember ever not having this habit. It's all she's known. When at rest, left fingers go into your mouth. When you are hugging your mom, when you are reading a book, when you are watching a movie, when you are walking through a crowd...

This is her mountain. I love to be here to see her climb it. (Even though I am a nervous twitchy wreck.)