Monday, April 11, 2011

Lucia Janaro

Tonight I am going to write about my 10 year old daughter and third child, Lucia. She is our "millennium baby," our Jubilee baby--born on August 28, year 2000. Do you remember the year 2000? The "Great Jubilee"? Do you remember "looking forward to the Great Jubilee" back when John Paul II was talking about it in 1980, when it was twenty years in the future? (just think, in twenty years it will be 2031). All the talk about the "Third Millennium." Ka-Pow, eleven years have gone by. It seems like a lifetime. It seems like yesterday. But I have already written about my fascination with the time warp factor in our experience, especially as we get older. Tonight I am writing about my daughter, who embodies those years in her own life. She spans the history of the third millennium for me.

When Lucia was born, the first thing I noticed about her was that she had long and exquisite fingers. She was a quiet and intense little child, who learned to talk a bit later than the others. When she first came along, we already had a three year old, and an under-2 year old, so we entered the ranks of the room-filling, eyebrow-raising, "boy-you've-got-your-hands-full" young families. She had a nice two-year stretch of being "the baby" before Teresa was born. As she grew, it appeared that she would be quiet, a little moody, artistic, perhaps introspective.

Indeed, most people who meet Lucia think she is shy. She is reserved around those she does not know. She certainly has her quiet side. But when Lucia is in the right mood she is the funniest person in the house. She is our actress: dressing up and playing various roles and imitating different accents (a little taped mustache and she becomes "Inspector Poirot;" a cap and a stick transform her into a British gentleman; other props make her the dancer, the musician, or just a plain old ham).

She does enjoy her time alone. She is the first to fall asleep in the evening, and the first to wake up in the morning, and like her older sister she is nearly always in the middle of some book. For several years, she was a "little girl," but I have begun to notice a maturity developing in her, especially in the last year--since she turned ten and Josefina turned four.

Lucia is Josefina's "second mommy." She really enjoys taking care of her little sister, playing with her, reading to her, and helping her with things. Of all of us (except Mommy), Lucia is probably the most attuned to Josefina's needs, is able to deal with her various moods, and (this is very important) can comfort her when Mommy is not around. All the kids are good with Josefina, but Lucia and Josefina have a special way of getting along, and Lucia takes initiatives with her that definitely manifest a budding maternal instinct.

Lucia is intuitive and emotional; she probably has more varying moods than the other kids. But there is an underlying stability, empathy, and affection that characterize her disposition. I think she is going to be a person with a capacity to love very deeply.

My little Lucia, Loochie-Goochie, Lulu, Loopy, Luchacha, becoming a young lady.