"I hate being a kid," she says often, angrily, when facing the firm directives of two parents, especially when it comes to her homeschooling.
She also talks a lot about what she'll do when she grows up, probably because we tell her often to aim to be good at something she enjoys and persevere until she can make a living at it.
A few months ago she informed me that she might 'open gates' for her work, since she's learned to do it so well, helping out around the farm. Yesterday, with a tangle of embroidery in a hoop in her hands, she asked me if some people make money sewing.
"But I'm not sure what I want," she says with a sigh today. "I might just want to live here with you."
Outside, in our part of Iowa, the bur oaks are flush with chartreuse leaves, still small enough and curled at the edges so that they don't yet obscure the delicate skeleton of dark branches. They're turning that deeper green that tells you their tender newness is toughening up, as they unfurl into the elements.
Half-way already. Holy shit.
I might just want to live with her, too.