Tonight, Grace came downstairs to tell me that Emma was crying over her book. "She is crying tears from her head to her feet, Mom," she informed me.
Poor, sweet Emma.
She is me.
She walks around with her feelers out, with her heart on a platter, vulnerable. She is deeply affected by characters in books, by animals, by stories, by other people.
She will be moved by poetry. She will cry in church. She will relate to certain songs on the radio with the essence of her being. She will hurt so terribly and love so deeply and want so badly for others to feel the way she does.
She won't understand it when people don't get her. She will feel like everyone should look at a sunset-dripping sky and feel chills in their toes. She won't understand why other people don't see God in the eyelashes of a pony, or in the petal of a violet.
She will have romantic notions about boys that are unrealistic and silly, but she'll count on the love story to work out. And it will.
When I posted about Emma on Facebook, one of my former students wrote to me and reminded me that I cried when reading the class To Kill A Mockingbird. It was the part of the book where Jem is in bed recovering from the attack, and Scout realizes that Boo Radley was the one who rescued them. She looks up at Boo's dark figure in the corner of the room and says, "Hey, Boo." Reading that for the first time after becoming a mother touched me so profoundly. I felt the vulnerability of Boo, and appreciated his humble sweetness and his longing to be left alone but to be understood. I loved the bold acceptance of Scout, who was so willing to drop her preconceptions of Boo and accept him for who he was. I looked up, expecting the whole class to be emotionally affected like I was, only to see a room of confused, freshmen faces wondering why their English teacher was so crazy.
It might not be the normal way to be...crying over words on a page, turning splotchy faced and having "tears from your head to your toes." But it's a good way to be. My Emma won't let life speed past. She'll take it in, savor it, taste it, mourn it, rejoice it, and FEEL it. I love that about her.