Monday, June 11, 2012

Highlights and Bloopers

The last few weeks have come and gone so very quickly. But then this is the new normal. Emie's kindergarten year is in the rear view mirror. After the most circuitous route taken to get us to this point-- I feel that we both should take a victory lap. A child's first year in school brings with it enough quickened pulses and sweaty palms before you add in a cross-country move mid-year and a teacher gone on maternity leave. She managed it all so very well even amidst some legitimate misses of some true friends and her lifelong buddies. She'll have to make yet another school change due to new boundary divisions. Whoever said change is the one thing you can count on must have lived in our house.

Before school wrapped up, Ainsley and I met her at school for lunch. Emie had asked if we would come and she could "be a tray". Being a tray in Emie-speak means you get to purchase a meal from the lunch lady. A novelty since I make the cutie's lunch each day. Emie has had the option to purchase another choice all year. An account had been all tidied up on her behalf but she had yet to purchase one meal. We talked about it one day - why no trip up to the cafeteria line. She couldn't really articulate it although it was clear there was some trepidation involved. Well, after one little visit there myself I got the idea. Soup Nazi does come to mind. The poor lady who doles out the vittles really ought to retire (God bless her soul). When a boy in front of us asked for a salad (without the required pre-order) she really seemed to want to climb right over the aluminum counter and give him what for. I get it. She had probably calculated just how many little salads to make that morning and had done exactly that - he was throwing things off. And Cafeteria Nazi no likey change. Poor dear. In any case --this type of personality and Miss Fairy Wings Emerson Hope are not a good match. Emie wanted her mama there to ensure she got the pinnacle entree of the month: Nachos.

When I first read the choice I thought that sounded kind of good. When was the last time I had a nice big pile of warm chips topped with grilled chicken, black beans, fresh guacamole and cheese? This wasn't that. This was identical to the little plastic tray filled with processed chips topped with orange glue served at every Circle K around the globe. My kinder-hearted blue-eyed love proclaimed Love for the citrus colored heap. I was equally happy to forgo the tray and sip my Aquafina instead - rubbing her back all the while. I kind of couldn't stop it. Couldn't stop rubbing her sweet little back in circles. We were both so happy to be next to one another at the cafeteria table. I loved being there. Seeing her in her place. Her environment. Hearing the others call to her and either make a silly face or point to a tower they'd made from Goldfish crackers, pudding, and apple slices. To see her little face light up and giggles emerge in that place felt so good. How I'd wondered if she'd like it here. If she'd make friends as easily as she did back east. And here she was - all settled and fitting in and okay.

A few weeks back she caught a little bug that didn't even last a full 24 hours. It just came in with a fury of high fever and fatigue and all of the other unpleasantries and was out of our house almost as quickly as it came. Praise. She napped in our bed while she was feeling so poorly. I curled in beside her and just looked at her. It occurred to me that it had been a really long time since I had done just that. Really looked at her. In the words of the great philosopher, Ferris Bueller: Life moves pretty fast around here. I don't always take the time to look. I took this picture of that very moment to remind me that she's such a beauty.

The other night at dinner we were talking about her day. I have to say our family conversations have improved tremendously since I invested in some dining room chairs. Glad I finally did that. Anyway...we were asking Emie about her day and if anything stood out from school. She got a careful look on her face and said rather sheepishly that there was one thing. During the school announcements spoken of the PA she was chatting. The teacher thought it was a boy sitting next to her and quickly chided him for speaking out of turn. Emie shared that all day long she could not shake the fact that someone else had taken the blame for her wrong-doing and she felt just terrible about it all.

Dirk suggested that she talk to the teacher the next day and tell her what happened. She reluctantly promised that she would. We all kind of forgot about it until we were tucking her into bed the next night. Dirk asked her if she'd said anything to the teacher and to my surprise, she said that she had. I don't doubt her best intentions - but she does love to be in good standing and please her beloved teacher and I wasn't sure she'd feel be courageous enough to fess up to the previous day's events. But here's what the lovely girl said, "I told Ms. Kennedy that I had to tell her something. I asked her if she remembered the day before when she thought Cullen was talking. I told her, well- that was actually me." The teacher handled it like a pro and told Emie how very proud she was of her. They have a Character Board in their room with a clothes pin by each child's name. She asked Emie to move her mark up on the board for being so honest and telling the truth when no one else would have ever had to know. Character: It's who you are when no one's looking. This girl's got it at six years old. She continues to slay me.

1 Comment so far - Add yours!

  1. I love this Melinda! Your writing is so warm and inviting. I love that we can learn so much from little ones. And I love that she is so brave and willing to do the right thing.