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Aug 26 2013

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Olivia Interview

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Olivia Ann Whitehouse

She’s my princess.  Daddy’s little girl.  She is the girliest of girls, but at the same time, she’s a pretty rockin’ tomboy.  Quick story:  we were fishing while on a camping trip a few years back.  Liv and I are at the picnic table gutting and cleaning a pile of white perch we had caught when a storm came up – fast!  All of a sudden, the lantern is swinging at a 45 degree angle under our canopy, the tent is threatening to pull up stakes, and Beth and the boys are hunkered down in the van with the music turned up so Jake won’t completely melt down.  Where’s Liv?  Standing with arms spread wide, face towards the storm, shouting over the din, “Dad, we should go swimming!  Just look at those waves!”
She always finds the coolest stuff when we hike, too.  If anyone’s going to spot that toad from twenty paces, it’s my Liv.  That combination earned her the nickname Princess Hawkeye Stormborn.
So, Liv’s interview.  Different from Jacob’s in that she really speaks to me.  Different from Gabe’s in that she’s two years older, more socially adept, uses AWESOME facial expression, and has that mother/caregiver thing going that Gabe just doesn’t.  Maybe it’s her maternal nature, maybe her age, maybe her budding social awareness – I don’t know.
Just like with Gabriel the other day, I told her that any answer was OK, as long as it was true.  She needn’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or making up ‘nice’ answers if their weren’t any.  I told her that people wanted to hear what she had to say.  Things to notice:
  • She nervously fidgets with her hair a TON
  • During Jake’s guest appearance, she lovingly tolerates his behavior
  • She clearly loves these boys
  • Watch the eyebrows – they tell the whole story.
  • Which questions she needs time to construct answers to vs. which questions she has ‘gut’ reaction to.
  • When Jake and Gabe (who’d been lurking) join the party – try to separate Jake’s autistic behavior from big-brother behavior

Without further adieu:

 

 

Words fail me when I think of how to describe just how proud I am of this young girl.  We’ve struggled with the balance between fostering in her the desire to nurture and care for Jake, and the need for her to be a child.

 

When we go places, she’s more worried about what Jacob’s doing and where he’s going than we are.  We are always telling her to let us be the parents; that she doesn’t have to.  I think it’s just part of who she is.  Anyway, that’s my girl.

Princess Olivia

[ssba]

About the author

BigCalfGuy

BigCalfGuy

I am a 39 year old, married, father of three amazing children; one of whom has autism. I fancy myself as more Atticus Finch than Holden Caulfield. Dynamite with a laser beam.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bigcalfguy.com/olivia-interview/

2 comments

  1. Amanda Kenneson

    You have some wonderful children, thoughtful and wise beyond their years! It has been my experience that great kids don’t just happen. They are usually a product of their environment, I was touched by all of their interviews!

    1. BigCalfGuy
      BigCalfGuy

      That is so sweet of you to say; thank you! Of the three interviews, Olivia’s has provoked the most emotional response. I think awareness leads to understanding, which fights fear/hatred. Thanks for the comment.

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