This morning while snuggling under the blankets and stealing a few more moments of morning calm, Gorilla Girl noted, “Perhaps I could ride the carousel alone now that I am five.” We rode the carousel several times this summer, and it is one of Gorilla Girl’s favorite activities. Each time, though she has suffered the indignity of her mother’s protective hand on her back or shoulder, per the rules of the carousel about the height requirements for lone riders.
Gorilla Girl has been waiting for the time to be free from parental control for those exquisite moments on her bejeweled horse. Gorilla Girl’s phrasing, however, points to her readiness to ride alone more than her size or age. Her use of “perhaps” indicates that she understands that this experience hinges upon circumstances — her age and size — that are outside of her control. She might be using perhaps to politely suggest her preference. Maybe she is even unsure about the rules of carousel-riding, and she is asking for help in understanding them. Perhaps I am reading too much into her precocious language use, and she is merely mimicking the conversations overheard. At any rate, I hope that Gorilla Girl’s “perhaps” becomes a reality for her this weekend as we stand aside the measuring pole.