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By Daphne Biener

I thought I was goal directed, but that was before I had the great fortune of meeting Kira. My daughter has goals. Lots and lots of goals. I’ll leave it to the experts to figure out nature and nurture, but I can tell you this: Kira was born with a plan. That child is going places, and if I don’t keep up, well then, you’ll find me lying in the dirt by the wayside.

As you may have heard, Kira is a strong swimmer. Despite a recent disappointing loss to a certain old lady with a propensity for cheating who shall remain nameless, her strokes continue to improve. She has her eye on the Olympics.

“I’m going to compete in the Olympics, Mom.”

“That’s great, honey. Which sport?”

“Definitely gymnastics. Swimming too. Jump-roping, of course. And what else is there?” Excuse me a moment, I’ve got to get the Wheaties people on the line about a photo shoot.

This abundant confidence is not new. Even as a scrunchy-faced, red and wrinkly newborn she knew that she was better prepared for the baby-meets-parents experiment into which we fumbling adults had blindly leaped. Her old soul peeked out through hazy baby eyes as if to say, “Relax, I can wait. I’ll be here in this bouncy seat until you pull your head out of your butt and figure out how to get these pesky snaps on my onesie to align.”

At five, she pulled out my yoga mat and balanced on one leg, hands in namaste over her heart. Her forehead was screwed up in concentration and she had her serious face on. “I’m going to be doing a lot of yoga,” she cautioned, daring me to defy her wishes.

“A lot?” I questioned. “What do you mean?”

“I think a million times will be enough. Don’t you?” She was going somewhere with this, but damned if I could guess where.

“Enough for what, honey?”

“For me to sit on my head, mom.” Duh. Poor thing was exasperated, as always when I fall behind.

Laugh if you will (I did, but I swear it was only on the inside.) Just because I can’t comprehend her goals doesn’t make them any less worthy.

But now she’s gotten me thinking—maybe there are benefits to sitting on my own head. I’m speaking figuratively, of course, given that I didn’t put up much of a fight when my yoga mat moved on to a more avid practitioner.

I have heard good stuff about this thing they call flexibility. Considering that many a crazy day leaves me longing for the simplicity of a three-ring circus, maybe Kira is on to something. I’ll bet if I were flexible enough to sit on my own head then the complexities of politically-correct cupcakes wouldn’t throw me for such a loop.

Maybe Cirque du Soleil offers internships for manicy mamas…nah, never-mind. I’ll leave the mastery of tough yoga moves to Kira. As for me, my goals are a bit more modest. I’m going to try to force Acadia to put a coat over her bikini before we go to Target. It may not be the Olympics. But it’s a start.

You can read more of Daphne’s work here on the mama bird diaries or visit her site, Sestina Queen.

9 Responses to lofty goals

  • Such a fun story – My little guy, even at three, has me thinking in all kinds of different directions too-despite my modest goals like: getting him potty trained – wait, maybe that’s not so modest after all. It seems like climbing Mount Everest at this point!

    Anyway, I think it’s amazing how kids can challenge moms to keep up/be flexible/try something new.

  • Kira's Dad says:

    Kira has started hinting to me that she can beat me in a running race. She hasn’t come out and officially challenged me yet as I think she is feeling out her chances before pulling the trigger.

  • sharon says:

    oh man, i get just picture the little yogi. better yet, i love the mental image of acadia in the bikini, snowboots and coat en route to target! xo

  • Lanie says:

    Go Kira go! I am looking forward to watching her in the Olympics. I would also like to see Acadia at Target in her bikini (with or without the coat). Realistic goals are definitely the way to go.

  • cookie says:

    I loved it..here is a confession. I wore a bikini in Howard Johnsons in December so could write a paper on peoples’ reactions for sociology class…so maybe Acadia and I are related!
    This essay is laugh out loud funny

  • G-PMikey says:

    good laugh. Reminds me of someone who9 decided to win the town gymnastic contest – and did. Keep them coming

  • grace says:

    I want three pictures; one of Kira in a yoga move, Acadia in her target outfit, and your mom at the restuarant in her bikini. Please send soon!

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