So the kids are always on my mind, but they’ve consumed my thoughts even more than usual recently because they are all changing so quickly… The next few posts may be very “my-kid-centric”. You’ve been warned!
I’ll start with E (the oldest at age 5).
Monday night, I put her to bed at 7:15 and gave her 5 new library books to snuggle up with. At 7:45, I saw her sitting at her desk writing. She noticed me watching her from the doorway and excitedly told me that one of the books we had checked out was now her favorite book ever. She was going to write down every single word so she could always have those words with her.
In that moment, E’s excitement was incredibly contagious. I mean, she was bubbling over with enthusiasm and pride. I remember thinking that her eyes were all sparkly, and her cheeks were all rosy, and she was all inspired because she had just finished the very first book she had ever simply picked up and read by herself. We check out books that she reads to me – or to her dad – all the time. But this time, she had gone through the pile, selected a book and read it in her room alone. I could just envision her, up there, curled up in her bed reading, almost giddy about the fact that she was reading all by herself. Of course it’s her new favorite book for that reason alone!
Anyway, I was so distracted by her excitement, and my excitement for her, that I gave her another kiss goodnight and went downstairs without thinking about any other parts of the conversation too much. And after a few minutes, her room became so quiet that I assumed she had fallen asleep.
Until she appeared downstairs an hour and a half later – at 9:15 (way past bedtime!) – holding this:
Yes. That’s right. She wrote down every single word in the book, just like she told me she was going to right before I got distracted by all her contagious, wonderful, happy. She had worked for almost 2 hours to do it. (I mean, really, imagine yourself loving a library book so much that you finished the last page, and simply had to express your appreciation by turning back to page one and eagerly copying down the entire book from the first word to the last…)
I was simultaneously, impressed, proud, shocked and so happy for my girl who was literally bouncing up and down with excitement over her accomplishment. She said (during literal jumps and bounds and amid great pointing at her papers),
“Look! Every word! I wrote them all! And some of the letters in the book were fancy (i.e. in italics). I didn’t copy all the curly parts of those letters, but I did some and I wrote every letter! And they made some letters capital that I knew my teacher said should be lowercase, so I made them lowercase in my book. Don’t you just love it?!”
Well, yes I do E. I think it’s awesome, quite honestly. And the post-it at the top of the photo is from your dad, who happened to be working late the night you wrote this, and wanted you to see his celebration of it first thing in the morning. (And, by the way, your Aunt A will love that you edited the writing in the published edition of the book!)
(Also, another by-the-way… amid all the enthusiasm, can someone tell me if I should be feeling a little mommy guilt over the fact that it never even occurred to E to ask me if she could get a copy of the book that she loved so much? Obviously, I am proud of the work ethic, and clearly we haven’t spoiled her, but have we erred a little too far on that side of things? And if we get the book for her now, will she be thrilled? Or will she think we don’t appreciate her hand-printed version – complete with illustration!)
Or maybe I’m overthinking all of it. Which would be exactly like me…
Regardless, to snap myself out of the worry, I will end by saying that while I was typing this blog post, E came downstairs and told me she wasn’t sleepy. She should have been snoozing over an hour ago; everyone else in the house is asleep. So I decided to surprise her greatly by asking her not to go back to bed, but to instead go get me her beloved Little House on the Prairie book (which S is growing into, and T just does not yet have the patience for, which makes it hard to read during the day). We read a dozen pages, and when we finished, I spent a few minutes curling her hair (something she has been begging me to do, and I attempted for the first time ever tonight…using socks…anyone ever tried that method?). Anyway, an important, enjoyable, and very fun memory with E that I wanted to record here…
And proof that maybe I’m spoiling her in other ways : )
Love you, E!
And love your book…