Saturday, January 26, 2013


I like listening to the girls talk to one another when I’m in the car with them. Sometimes they ask each other questions about the parts of the day they’ve been apart, sounding like small adults; sometimes they discuss what they see out the window; sometimes it’s they play little role playing games--mostly house or scenes from their favorite books; and sometimes (so, so often lately) they squabble over seemingly ridiculous things (and so I don't always like listening to them talk).

Yesterday in the car, Lyra began telling a story about “another world that is underneath our world.” Adriana has always seemed like a storyteller to me, and it’s fun to see that same trait developing in her sister. “The other world is full of magical animals and fairies.”

Adriana jumped in immediately to correct Lyra. “There is only one world and it is this world. There is not another world under it. Under us is just crust and mantle and core.”

I joke that Adriana is such an engineer sometimes--the way she thinks about things, the way she takes problems apart, the way she looks at the world very scientifically. I think it’s actually just the way kids her age are: they’re learning so much and gathering information and figuring out how the world works. She’s still imaginative and prone to flights of fancy--she is only six after all (and I think the imagination is part of what helps her figure things out)--but I can see that Lyra is still very much in a more fairy tale world compared to her sister.

It’s so tempting to jump in then, to instruct Adriana to let her sister be, to let her go ahead and tell her stories. But Lyra didn’t seem to mind, and continued on the story, so I let it go. It wasn’t long before Adriana was interrupting again to point out a scientific inaccuracy, this time to lecture on volcanoes. And I got to marvel at how much she’s learning at school, about how she really seems to understand things and can explain about plates and magma and pressure and eruption to her sister. And then I marveled again as Lyra listened carefully, seeming to take it all in, and then said, without missing a beat, “The world under this one has volcanoes and the volcanoes are full of fire dogs having parties. And the world above this one has an owl as big as an elephant for a king.”

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