She is intense, imaginative, a little wild, eager to please but never sure what the rules are, undisciplined, scattered, smart, perhaps too smart for her own good, everything's a game, language is a game, she wants to play, she wants to control the game, she wants to be controlled, she wants to lead, she wants to follow, she wants to hit, she wants to scream, she wants to laugh and laugh, she wants to keep laughing even though the jokes over, she wants to make other people laugh, she's a chameleon, sometimes I think she is a beauty and sometimes I think she is plain, she's fun, other kids love her intensely, other kids don't want her to play with them, she wants to please people, she's prickly, she wants affection, she pushes people away, she's ambiguous, ambivalent, she crowds, she wants space, she's not sure of herself, she loves herself, she doesn't want to dress up, she doesn't like dresses, she wants to be a princess, she doesn't want to carry anything, she wants a new bag, she wants to make, she doesn't like mess, she wants to be covered in mud, she wants to wash it off, she wants to fly, she wants to jump off high things, she's scared of spiders, the dark, the gap between the platform and the train, she wants to go out, she wants to stay home, she loves the museum, the huge spaces, the arrangement of things, she loves books, she loves maps, she loves beautiful things, she notices things other people don't see, she won't take no for an answer, if you tell her not to do something she does it anyway, she does it twice.
Who am I describing? Mother or daughter? Frederique is so like me, sometimes I feel like I am having to find a way to parent myself. The shifting space between us, it never occurred to me before I had her that I would find the boundary between us so vague, so indistinct, the beginnings of ourselves so blurred. I don't have this with Una...is it because she was second? Or is it because Frederique is so like me and I can see great joy for her but a difficult road all the same?