Life lessons from a four-year-old and staking claim on 2012

To say my niece is precocious would be an understatement. To say she’s currently a pregnant, bare-chested rockstar would be closer to the truth. Oh and did I mention that my lovable, darling niece is 4 years old? And that for a year she refused to answer to anything other than one of her various aliases (primarily Rebecca). But don’t worry she also renamed my brother and sister-in-law during this time period to alleviate any confusion.

So it really shouldn’t have surprised us when the other weekend she sauntered downstairs after getting ready for bed with her PJ’s on – sans buttons. Then when my sister-in-law sensibly went to help her button up, when Miss Diva proclaimed, “No Mom. I’m a pregnant rockstar and you know how they always keep their shirts unbuttoned.” Four. Years. Old.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s what you get for running nonstop TV and keeping US Weekly for bedtime stories.” I promise you this could not be further from the truth of her zero TV, educational programming during family time only, Spanish immersion, women studies instructor Mom, Cyndi Lauper singing life. But you know who else had an awkward pregnancy phase as a toddler? Dakota Fanning. That’s right folks, I am proud aunt to the next child superstar.

Dontcha wish your family was haute like me?

And on the turning of another year, I can’t help but be a little jealous of my pint-sized rockstar. I mean, here she is in that beautiful phase of life where her imagination has no bounds. The word “impossible” literally reads “I’m possible” and she’s surrounded by adults telling her she can be anything she wants to be. The magic of this glittering bubble is one of the best parts of…And then it hits. At what point did those encouraging adults become the voice of reason politely pointing out that income after taxes makes being a superhero less desirable than an accountant? When did our apostrophes skip from I’m possibles to can’ts, don’ts and won’ts? And who says we can’t reclaim our childhood wonder? Our sense of excitement for all the sparkly promise the world holds. Who said we’re too old? It’s too risky and our time has past? The adults. Us. We. Me.

Well, I can proudly say I don’t much care for the maturity of adults and much rather foster the brilliance of youth. With 2011 as a celebration of this crazy circular life, 2012 will be a continuation to a deeper level. A year for unwavering belief and throwing tantrums (otherwise known as taking a stand) for what I want. Not what I’m told to want. To honoring childhood wonder.

2012 will be the year of making a Reclamation.

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