Monday, September 29, 2014

Nora is a Kindergartner

One sticky hazy humid morning in late August you started kindergarten. It happened in a whirlwind. There was some anxiety and un-sureness from you. I was ready for a hard year with lots of emotional reactions. Your two teachers were ready, knowing that you put too much pressure on yourself to know what to do ahead of time and you become upset when you don't know / can't predict / imagine what the expectations or outcome will be. You have a complicated psyche but one that I understand well. 

I let you go (pushed you in) with tears in your eyes. I was met by my colleagues comforting me with, "Are you ok, Mom?" and "She will be fine." 

But, 90 seconds after pushing you in the kindergarten door crying, your teacher popped her head out into the hallway where I was greeting other Lower School students and exclaimed, "Nora's doing great! All smiles!" 

I peeked in and there you sat at one of the tables with two friends laughing and chatting away. No worries. No sadness.

And that is so you Nora. You build up a situation in your head and then you sit down and everything is fine. You find your confidence and you blossom. 

What I wasn't expecting was how fast and how easily you have blossomed into a kindergartner. You have matured and taken leaps I couldn't imagine just a few weeks ago. Although, I should have seen the writing on the wall, when one August morning, I quickly showed you how to tie your shoes and talked about finding the bunny hole. Daddy too, showed you a few days later. You attempted a few times. But I didn't want to stress you out or cause you worry before starting kindergarten. Until one day out of the blue about a week after showing you how it's done, you tied your shoes. A fluke, probably. Then you did it again. And again. Then all on your own, you figured out how to double knot your laces. You started kindergarten knowing how to tie your shoes proficiently and it has been glorious not tying your shoe every morning.

Kindergarten has been alot like learning to tie your shoes. You just sort of absorb it all and apply it. We are 4 weeks in and already you are already working on 1st grade math level. You are reading and writing and singing and drawing realistically and imaginatively. You are making up stories and games and trying new things fearlessly. I am so taken aback at not only how fast you have adjusted but also how you simply devour information and ideas.

Tonight we chatted alot about class and homework and books and friends. Daddy was dealing with Lucy. We snuggled and sang and talked. You are so sweet and so loving and such a joy. Tonight at least. You talked about what you want to do with your life. On Mondays, you are going to be a doctor. On Tuesdays, you will be a kindergarten teacher. On Wednesdays you will be a veterinarian. On Thursdays you will be a makeup artist and Fridays you will be a librarian. Finally, on Saturdays, you just want to play dress up. And I know that this scenario for adulthood is quite unlikely, but Kindergarten is all about possibilities and dreams. It is about play and discovery. It's about finding a love of  learning and growing to love yourself and others. And, let me just say, if anyone could pull off 5 careers and still have a day for dress up, it would be you Nor.

Because if the rest of your life is anything like the first month in Kindergarten, you will be unstoppable. 

You came home with this sticker on your jumper after the first day of school. I wanted to take a picture and save the sticker in your "baby box" but you immediately tore it off when you jumped it the car and ripped  it. Neurotic me, found a jpeg image online and added your name. I don't think the reality of having a Kindergartner struck me until I saw you wearing this sticker. 
First Day of School 2014




Your classroom is in the building with the clock. To the left of the white columns on the first level. I love thinking about you in your classroom learning and playing. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pain in the... foot?

Just when I think I have this parenting thing down... then something happens that brings you a few pegs down.

We have had busy schedules. It just happens. I don't know how we end up having our days and evenings filled. I knew we would have to go and get Nora fitted for shoes for school before her first day. There was never a convenient day to drive up to Gettysburg to the Stride Rite where we buy our quality (ie not Target or Payless) shoes that we need. During my first week back with faculty, Daddy out of the blue, says we have to go to buy shoes tonight. Ugh... I had so much work to do including a presentation, a training session and getting the computers programmed for that consignment sale I volunteer for. Really?!?! Tonight? Your father insisted saying that you, Lucy, had a meltdown about putting on your shoes that morning. He knew it would be an issue and I was on a tight schedule in the mornings. We decided to just get it over with and drive up to the shoe store. We couldn't even get you to put on your shoes to go to the car. Daddy ended up just carrying you without shoes. We drove the half an hour up to the store, carried you in. The lady working measured your feet. Your father found a cute pair of purple and pink sneakers (not looking at the price) and tried to get you to put them on. It was a battle. Lucy, you continually refused. Daddy coddled and cajole and bargained. Nora and I were looking for school shoes... Daddy finally got you to try them on. To be fair Lu, you are difficult many times for no reason at all. I leave most of the negotiations up to Daddy. Finally, you slipped the shoes on, stood up and immediately took off running up and down the aisles shouting at the top fo your lungs, "My feet don't hurt! My feet don't hurt!!!" "Daddy! Mommy! My feet don't hurt!!!!"

Cue the guilt. We felt (still feel) awful. We noticed about a week before we took you to buy shoes that your feet were getting a lot of blisters and cuts on the heel and side. We thought it was the shoes rubbing or style so we would switch. You always preferred to be barefoot in the summer anyways... We had no idea you were in that much pain... until you refused to put on any shoes that morning in late August. Needless to say, we got some strange looks from the other shoppers and Lucy, you refused to take off those shoes. We wanted to buy you another pair too but you would not let us take off that purple and pink pair. Then I find out the shoes cost $50.00! Really?!? For sneakers? And I should mention we drove up to Gettysburg to go to the outlet which usually mean less expensive. But there was no going back, you were enjoying a pain-free shoe wearing experience and there was no way you were going to remove them. And Daddy and I didn't have the heart to take them away. So that's how we bought $50.00 shoes for you, Lu. 

New Shoes!
So comfy. 
We have been able to coax some new rain boots on you.
Bee boots in fact. Watch Out! They Sting!
Evidence of bare feet preference.