formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Dragon and the Mouse... 9/10/08

More about Ryan...

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My daughter is 9 and quite grown up in some ways, but the little girl in her still sleeps with stuffed animals… 2 of them. First is Stewart, a realistic-looking mouse puppet she got for her first birthday. Back then, he was known as ‘Stew-it’ and he was absolutely indispensable in our house. When Ryan went through a phase at about two where she didn’t want to eat, I would put Stewart on my hand and hold the fork and, voila! Creamed spinach gone! It was cool. Stewart used to be very bright white and soft… now he’s sort of grey and ratty (no pun intended) with a band-aid on his tail, but he’s still well-loved (by both of us).

Second is Jonesy, a red dragon. Ryan has been totally into dragons since we started reading Harry Potter when she was 5, and this one is identical to the one she sent to my friend Todd in London. Todd used to email her as the ‘real’ Jonesy, a red Welsh dragon who lives in his spare room (Todd’s very imaginative). And while Ryan knew Jonesy didn’t really exist, she enjoyed suspending her disbelief to carry on a correspondence with him.

I find it funny that her two favorite animals are a mouse and a dragon. In some ways, they are like tangible little displays of Ryan’s own personality. On one hand, she’s big and fierce and fearless and fire-breathing, with claws and wings and a forked tongue. This part of her tends to fly alone. On the other hand, she can be tiny and timid and quivering; cuddly and mild. But, as would happen in real life (if dragons existed, that is), the mild is overshadowed by the fierce. In fact, I'm often the only one who gets to see the mouse.

I WANT her to be a dragon. I want her to be able to stand up for herself and not take crap from anyone. I want her to fly and breathe fire when she believes in something; to be noticed and respected. But I want her to be able to temper that side of her personality with the mouse… I want her to understand that you don’t have to be big and bad to be strong; that you don’t have to be loud to be heard; that being afraid doesn’t mean you’re not brave; and that it’s OK to be a part of a group… it’s OK to share the cheese with the rest of the mice.

I’m sure (I hope) it’s something she’ll figure out as she grows. I just see some heartache in her future if she can’t tame the dragon a tiny bit… and that breaks my heart, especially when I know there’s a sweet little mouse in there, deep down.

7 comments:

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Diane, Ryan will find her own way, and learn more about herself as she gets older - And the lessons you give her all along the way will guide her, I am so sure of that!

Hope you are having a fine weekend, friend! x

mo.stoneskin said...

I can relate, mouse/fragon is so me!

theoddduckling said...

And as she gets older she'll find a balance. When I was very young, I was pretty much pure mouse then it switched to pure dragon. It just took me growing up to find that middle ground.

Tabitha and Family said...

My daughter is very similar and I pray that she can tone it down just a tad. I'm sure with their mother's guidance they'll both be just fine. :)

Comedy Goddess said...

I am really into seeing the implications in the little things we choose too.

Sounds to me like Ryan has a very aware Mother which is a perfect way to ensure that she will grow in her own awareness too.

That's what I strive for as a single mom.

Missy said...

She will figure out everything, as we did, and will have the perfect balance of the dragon and the mouse!

musicats said...

How insightful of you to see these things in Ryan. It is wonderful that you are Ryan-centered enough to be able to do it. She will find her own way, that is sure, so don't worry. With a Mother like you there is no doubt about it.