If you feel like dancin'...

Physically, Madigan is a perfect mix of Brett & I. She has his eyes, my nose, his mouth, and my cheeks. Both of us were blonde, short, stalky and "thick" as toddlers. As a parent, our ties to our children first focus on the outward and the physical. As they grow, you see that besides the physical resemblance, they grow their own little attitude. Her personality isn't "mine" or "his" but it's totally Madigan.

I'm a social person. When I'm thrown into a new situation, I can simultaneously read the people around me, while talking and getting comfortable fairly quickly. I was raised to believe that you should never talk to strangers, luckily I've never met one! (I get that from my father!) The majority of people have great stories, and love to hear them. Once I'm comfortable, there's nothing that is off limits; you'll often find me socializing with "new friends" and never see me shy away from the dance floor or the spotlight. I was the kid that jumped right into the deep end of the pool, and hoped for the best; it's this same attitude as an adult that sometimes drives my more reserved husband crazy.

Brett is a bit more reserved in social situations, sometimes to the point where people wrongfully label him as stuck-up or stand off-ish. He's self confident, but not boisterous or even outgoing with "strangers". So while he keeps to himself and usually surveys the crowd around him (and usually accurately sizing up the folks in the room), he doesn't appear nervous or anxious, which is most likely how he can be wrongfully tagged. Once he's comfortable with his surroundings, he will get a bit more loose and talkative, but he's rarely chatting up total strangers or attempting to get into the spotlight. He was the toe-dipping kid at the pool, and lowered himself in one chilly inch at a time; as an adult his thoughtful approach sometimes seems too reserved to me.

I love to watch Madigan in new situations, and see how she's like me, but also how she's different. At home she's physical, talkative, and confident. She knows what she wants, and will ask 20 times until you see it her way. That is so me. But once you add in anyone new, she becomes internal. She watches, she doesn't speak much but isn't nervous either. It's like she doesn't want to be the action, but rather be able to react. That is so Brett.

This weekend, we were at a wedding reception. As Brett & I sat, Madigan sat too. She watched the crowd of children dancing. You could see in her eyes she wanted to dance too. She was never nervous, shy or wanting reassurance from us. As we continued to talk, she decided it was "ok" to proceed. She slid off Brett's lap, and without ever looking back she walked right into the center of the group of children, held out both hands and made two new friends. She danced like it mattered to her; and not to anyone else. She never once looked around for approval from her new friends. It felt right; she was in the moment. Brett & I watched her for a bit, then decided to join her. As we reached her side, she seemed genuinely happy to see us.
And we all danced, together.


The first weekend in May, every May, is the Gatherin'.

Caber-tossing, Scotch drinking, sword holding good times, I tell you.
Madigan went on Friday night, and ate a lot of corn. A LOT of corn. Enough to make her go cross eyed. She stayed with her grandma on Saturday, which is for the best, considering all the Scotch drinking and swords and what have you.

Crosses were lit on fire and ran like a relay. Weights were thrown for height and distance. Sheafs of hay were pitch-forked over a plank of wood. I'm not really sure why we do it, except that we're Scottish and that's apparently what Scottish folk do.

Many pictures were taken, and some were heavily edited for effect.

I was introduced to s'mOreos. It was a camping on the ground good time. And just in case you don't believe me that Madigan ate enough corn to go cross eyed.....
Exhibit A: