Now that Morgan is starting a few days of Kindergarten, Vivien and I have some afternoons alone together. I am enjoying having time just for her when there are no other demands or rather fewer demands, where there is no quarrelling between siblings and I have much more time just for her. I’m rediscovering things about her. Things that I love about her. She is a passionate person, who is fully invested with every fibre of her being in the moment she finds herself.

One of the things I admire about her is her commitment to process. For example, on the day I took the above shot, we had a painting session (one of her favourite and my least favourite activities of hers). On that day, she did not set out to make anything in particular as Morgan might have at that age. Rather, she knew she wanted to paint and she wanted to do it in a particular way involving specific paints that had to be mixed by hand. The paper was then wetted squeezed and stuck to more paper. A tidy person’s nightmare, really. On that day however, I was not trying to cook dinner, mitigate any arguments or quickly cross off a few more chores. I had time just to sit be with her. Once I got beyond the fact that I’d be cleaning up the mess, I was able to watch Vivien. It was very enjoyable to see her work as she did. She was so sure of what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it. She concentrated for over an hour doing this, hardly speaking except to ask for more paper or paint.

I am not suggesting that Vivien is a budding artist. I have no idea what she will spend her time doing when she is older; what the focus of passionate energy will be. To me the what is less important than the how. What I do hope, however, is that she can retain the quiet, concentrated sure-footedness I saw in her as she worked today. If she can hold onto that, I think she could be one of those people who loves what she does.