When I remember the little darling as a toddler, this is the picture that appears in my heart and my head.
Quite honestly, she could be a handful at this stage. One of my dear friends even nicknamed her "Taryn the Terror." She clearly had a very strong sense of self, even then. She knew what she wanted and when she wanted it and she started perfecting her persistency approach with a vengeance as soon as she learned how to walk and talk.
I like to think that Yoga Kid's tenacity at such a tender age showed me that getting our needs met or realizing our dreams takes passion and effort. She taught me that sometimes we need to holler and cry. I also like to think that some of my greatest growth spurts were taking place at the same time as hers were, in her first few years. I believe that back in the day when I was telling baby Yoga Kid and her older sister First Born to "get up and brush themselves off," that "they could do it," and that they were "terrific," that my own words were echoing or boomeranging right back to me.
Clearly, by the time we got Yoga Kid to her kindergarten graduation, I had also graduated into a whole new way of life, and I credit my beautiful daughters for inspiring me to grow up and be more terrific.
She never really did lose her ability to terrorize once in a while, but the early grade school years also started to bring out the sensitive, compassionate side of this little person who would grow up to be Yoga Kid. When she was five, she actually changed her name to Alice for a while (she was obsessed for over two years with a black and white version of an Alice in Wonderland movie.) The following except about Alice is from an entry in my journal on June 7, 1992:
Today is my baby's 7th birthday. She was an angel in her dance concert [a few days earlier]. That day she came home and adopted a caterpillar. It was priceless. She was gentle and caring towards it. She read it stories, and took it for rides on her dinky cars. It was precious.
Needless to say, she soon graduated to loving dinosaurs and dogs. She wanted a dinosaur, but we were unable to deliver on that one. I have no idea whose puppy she was holding in this picture, but how cute is this kid!
As her grade school years clipped along Yoga Kid grew into an exceptional dancer, learned how to play the piano beautifully, and became a prolific writer. In addition to crafting stories on a regular basis just for the fun of it, she was expected to journal daily in school. I think you get some of the flavour of who Yoga Kid was becoming from this entry on her first day back at school in the fall of 1995:
This summer I went to Red Deer to visit my dad. We went to Banff twice. Every summer we go camping there. It's so pretty in Banff. We also went to Drumheller. Again, we go there every year. It's very interesting when you love dinosaurs like I do. When I grow up I want to be a paleontologist. One of my hobbies is collecting fossils. I never really liked dinosaurs until we learned about them in grade two. In Edmonton at Northlands Park ther's a Canadian Derby. We go there every year too. They just fixed Northlands up and it is very nice. It's a lot more enjoyable watching horseracing in a place like that. Some of the horses are so beautiful. While my dad is at work my grandma watches me. She comes down from Whitehorse every summer to watch me. We would take the bus to the mall a lot, but at weekends we would go places with my dad. Now a little about myself. My full name is Taryn Rae. I am 10 years old and my birthday is June 7, 1985. I was born in Whitehorse, I have a dog named Poncho. he's terri-poodle cross. I have an older 14 year old sister and I'm the youngest. I'm a chocolate and taco lover. My hobbies are tap dancing and collecting fossils. My pet peeves are: some cats, bees, wasps and all seafoods. My favourite colours are blue and pink, plus dark green. My favourite shows are "Are You Afraid of the Dark?", "Rugrats," "Rocko's Modern Life," and "X-Files." I love to read. My favourite movies are "Jurassic Park," and "Little Women." I like antiques like old teacups, sewing machines, etc. I love going to history places.
As a historian, this entry warms my heart. The years from ten to fifteen were pretty uneventful, and then the next few were interesting as the Terror returned for a few grand performances. But we all survived and once again, she was a beautiful graduate.
The past few years, our girl has grown into a beautiful young woman. Yoga Kid has retained her love of vintage as far as some clothing and jewellery goes, but to my knowledge she no longer plays the ponies and she now despises the colour pink. She is no longer a terror in any way, shape or form, although like the best of us, she can still get pretty cranky once in a while. The only dinosaurs in her life these days are her parents. She had to give up dancing so she took up yoga, which is now her life's passion. She still loves to read but reads mostly non-fiction. First Born teases her for only reading "textbooks" and just bought her a novel about yoga for her birthday to try to get her back into fiction (First Born and I love reading novels). Yoga Kid still loves dogs, and wishes she had one again. She is no longer a fan of caterpillars. Although she claimed that she hated seafood at age ten, she has never actually tasted anything in the fish or seafood family in her entire life. She is currently the only vegetarian in our family, but she still sits at our table when we serve ribs, First Born's favourite. Yoga Kid is an exceptional makeup artist, but traded that career to work in another job that allows her the freedom to devote more time to teaching yoga in the evenings. She even has a yoga blog on her Anahata Moon Yoga site. If you go to her blog, you will learn that she still loves chocolate.
I don't know that any of us would have expected Yoga Kid to grow up to be Yoga Kid. But we are so very happy that she did. I still learn from her every day. Earlier this year, as I wrote in my Yoga Kid, Hearty and Me post, I learned a lot about the true meaning of mindfulness, of being present. This daughter of mine is caring, wise, funny, sensitive. I look at her or think about her and can't help but marvel over how precious and priceless a gift she is to our family.
Happy birthday, darling girl. I love you.