Elise headed off to eighth grade, and in typical eighth grade fashion, she decided the dress code rules did not apply to her. When I said, "Um... really? spaghetti straps and bra straps showing?" She said, "Oh I have a T-shirt in my backpack in case I get in trouble." Um. No. We are not starting off a new year with a dress code violation. I sent her back in to change. She seemed to have a great first day and likes her teachers so far.
Next we had nervous Nina heading off to middle school for the first time. Sixth grade is kind of a big deal, and thankfully, she survived. She only ended up in the wrong classroom once.
Then we have Addison...
who was clearly not at all nervous about second grade.
She and I are on our own now in the mornings. Nina was usually the one who kept us on track to make the bus on time, so it was no big surprise when we missed the bus this morning. As I was driving to school, it occurred to me that this was the first time in nine years of school that my kids have not taken the bus on the first day. Even in kindergarten, we always hustled them on to the bus, their backpacks weighted down with ten tons of school supplies. I drove along wondering how long the carpool line would be, assuming that many parents probably drive on the first day. Then, completely bewildered, I pulled up to a perfectly empty carpool line. It confused me until I looked over and saw the packed parking lot. Parents were walking kids into the building in droves. I briefly wondered, "Should I get out and walk her in? Is that what I am expected to do?" I quickly pushed that thought out of my head though. If she is independent enough to get off of a school bus and find her classroom on the first day, then she can get out of my car and find her way as well. With that, I dropped her off as the one lone carpool kid of the day. I haven't decided if that makes me a bad mom for neglecting my first day of school parental duties or a really great mom for encouraging my child to be independent. I'm just going to go with the latter... makes me feel better. Don't judge.
Addison had a great day, and wouldn't you know... she found her classroom, all by herself.
I love questions from seven year olds. I have no idea how their brains work or how their thought process gets them to the questions they ask, but I love it. This week, Addie said to me, "Mom, I was just wondering... are God and Jesus on the same team? Or different teams?" I paused for a moment and then responded, "They are on the same team." She said, "OK. I was just wondering."
I can't help but wonder what sort of team God and Jesus are on together. Basketball? Hockey? Debate? I didn't ask or pry. I just left it alone and smiled.
You turned seven last month. We celebrated with a gingerbread decorating party at home. I tried desperately to convince you to do a party outside the house - Ice skating! Bounce house place! Taekwondo! Manicures! Build-a-Bear! You would have none of it. You were determined to have a party at home, so I relented. It was fun... chaotic and crazy, but fun.
Your insistence and never-back-down attitude about the home birthday party is pretty typical of your temperament these days. You are strong-willed and not shy about it. That will serve you well in a board room some day. Right now, it can be a bit draining for your parents. You and Nina are the stubborn soul sisters.
As you entered first grade, we crossed our fingers that the transition would be smoother than your transition to kindergarten which had been pretty traumatic. Things certainly went better, but it was still really tough on you. I think you are just someone who is very sensitive to change. Change is hard for you, and it takes you time to adjust to new classes, new camps, new situations. It isn't a bad thing, it is just part of what makes you you. I am starting to think that a traditional calendar school might be a better fit for you. Tracking in and out of school (9 weeks on, 3 weeks off) brings on a rough transition period every time. It is hard to get your behavior back in line after we track in or out of school. Overall though, school is going well. You like your teacher, and you are cruising along fine academically.
You enjoy reading. A couple of your favorite books lately have been Mercy Watson Fights Crime by Kate DiCamillo and The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale. You have some good friends both in and out of school and still participate in Daisy Girl Scouts and book club. You love to ride your bike and scooter.
The biggest change in your life in the past year has been your participation in Taekwondo.
When you first approached us about doing Taekwondo after a track-out camp field trip, I assumed this activity would go the way of others you have tried (T-ball, cheer, dance, and soccer). Your typical M.O. is to enjoy the activity for the first few weeks, tolerate it for the rest of the season or session, and then quit.
I never imagined that Taekwondo would have the impact on you that it has. It has made you a better Addison. I think you needed and craved the structure and discipline of martial arts. It just works for you. All of the tenets of Taekwondo are incorporated into the classes - honor, courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverence. You are picking up all of that. Your first grade teacher told us that she noticed a difference in your respect and courtesy toward her after you started doing Taekwondo. We notice it at home too.
You are dedicated, determined, focused, and happy working toward your goals at Taekwondo. It is not an activity I ever would have chosen for you, so I'm so glad you found it and pursued it on your own. It is a good fit for your soul. I hope you will continue in Taekwondo for a long time. It has been such a great influence on your life.
I hope seven will be a good year. You continue to challenge us as parents, but you continue to bring us smiles and joy every day too. You talk all the time, giving us all your seven year old observations on life. I love your thought processes.