Thursday, May 20, 2010

Firsts



When Alli started Kindergarten this fall she had all her baby teeth, an adorable A-line bob, and a pair of new tennis shoes. She didn't know how to read, could only write her first name legibly, and didn't know she was a natural at math.

Today I sent her on her first all-day field trip missing two teeth, bangs in her face cause she's re-growing out her hair, and that same pair of tennis shoes (now snug) with the hot pink fabric frayed in so many places it's almost embarrassing that she's still wearing them. She knows how to read, has amazingly beautiful penmanship, has recently taken to writing "books" where she sounds out the words, and can add and subtract like no one's business. Amazing what transpires in just a few short months.

From the minute Alli rolled out of bed this morning she chattered non-stop about all the fun they were going to have. She was ridiculously excited about bringing a sack lunch and gave me explicit instructions on what she could and couldn't bring. When she was convinced I was capable of following her lunch-making instructions, she dashed upstairs to get ready. As I stacked her lunch in a Starbucks paper bag (don't all kindergartner's take Starbucks bags for lunch sacks?) and placed a carefully written napkin note (words facing up so she wouldn't miss it) on top, I marveled at the growth in my daughter's life.

She can read the napkin note, something she couldn't do two months ago. She's gone all day today at school, a precursor to the grueling transition she'll experience when she starts first grade. She's toeing the line and behaving beautifully at school. She's working hard at home to be self-controlled and multiple times this week I've witnessed her teter on the brink of losing her mind, then consciously choose to take a deep breath and pull it together instead. I NEVER thought that day would come and it's been so rewarding to praise her for making a good choice instead of being the one who's taking a deep breath and praying for wisdom.

I was supposed to chaperone this field trip but forgot to turn in my volunteer form. Paige is already off to her fun pre-arranged day of child care so here I sit. 8:20 a.m. and the house is empty and quiet. A glimpse into the not-so-distant future that lies ahead. When I was knee-deep in diapers, naps, story time, sleepless nights and trips to the park, I never thought this day would come. Now that it's here and it's a bit unnerving and exciting wrapped up in one giant unknown package. But what's life if not a great big adventure? Alli and I will both have "firsts" today and I can't wait to tell her all about it.

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