It's my daughter, riding in the back of Stinky (our 1994 Altima), going 50 miles per hour with the window rolled down.
Our other vehicle is a minivan, with windows that don't roll down, only prop open a few inches. You get the breeze maybe, but not the experience.
I admire my girl. She's my hero, my "I want to be like her" person. She lives life at full throttle, no boundaries, no filters, no fear. She is a kinesthetic learner, which means she learns best by experiencing: touching it, squishing it, tasting it, crawling in it. We've had many conversations lately about: 1. how maple keys (seeds) are to be planted not tasted, and 2. wild bamboo leaves taste better to pandas than to Camis. All of her clothes have grass and mud stains on the knees. There's a washer-safe placemat at her place at the table.
Yes, most of my parenting job involves teaching her boundaries and developing her filters, trying to impart wisdom and appropriate caution to her. Yet there's this unexpected blessing that I'm discovering: As I get to know her and try to help her embrace and celebrate who God has made her to be, I'm discovering myself and reclaiming my self that was abandoned in the name of "growing up."
I don't know what it's going to look like when she "grows up." I just know that right now, we ride in the car with the windows rolled down more often.