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Living in the Real World - Seeing Children: A Question of Perspective

by Jim Greenman
January/February 1991
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/living-in-the-real-world-seeing-children-a-question-of-perspective/5007762/

My daughter, Emma, lives life as opera. Since birth, she has attacked life with no holds barred pleasure, incapable of understatement. She overwhelms spaces with her large and dynamic physical presence and her enthusiastic loudness, seizing the life around her - perpetually moving, gobbling up experience as well as food and drink. The tribal delights of childhood fuel her day.

Love relationships go through phases of congruence. When Emma was nine, I looked at this nine year old Bette Midler daughter of mine and craved the polite mannered, anorexic delicacy of some of her friends. Our life together seemed like a series of short, dispiriting skirmishes as we navigated hurried days and small spaces. Emma was definitely situationally disadvantaged, sharing small living space with a father who worked and traveled too much. I wanted a quieter, and perhaps more socially acceptable, way of being. The relationship slowly worsened as I lost sight of all those qualities I loved in her. We were out of synch; it was not a happy time for either of us.

I happened to be listening to an artist, Red Grooms, talking about his childhood. He creates delightful, energetic ...

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