Thursday, November 12, 2015

Love Letter, Month 70

Dear Kate,

You are 70 months old today.
I'm so happy that your tongue did not make an appearance in your school photo for kindergarten. That may sound like a strange thing to be grateful for but let me tell you, I've seen more of your tongue this month than I ever thought possible. It appears nearly every time the camera comes out, most recently at our family photo shoot.

And again during your class trip to the pumpkin farm.
I can't decide what's worse: the Tongue or the Death Stare.
Either way, they are both (hopefully) just a stage and one you will grow out of sooner (fingers crossed) or later (pass the wine please).

One thing that does not seem to be a stage, though, is your need for perfection and your sensory issues related to clothing. As for the former, it most manifests itself when playing your flute. I think you fully expect that you will be able to pick up your flute after a few days of not practicing and play every note pitch perfect with next-to-no effort on your part. You are amazingly and wretchedly unhappy when you hear that this is not the case and proceed to have major tantrums for the duration of practice. You will self-sabotage in order to make your case clearer by blowing so hard into the flute that the notes come out shrill, or not at all, saying, "SEE?!!! I CAN'T HIT THE NOTES!!!"

As for your clothing issues, we are now down to 1.5 pairs of pants that you have deemed "passable" for wearing. Every.Single.Morning is an exercise in extreme patience on my part as you proclaim the 15 pairs of pants in the closet "too small", "too tight", "too loose", "too long", "too short". When you do finally put something on, you immediately start tugging and pulling until it is in the location that will prove how wrong they are for you: pulled down around your thighs to show they are too long or are too baggy in the crotch, jacked up around your chest to indicate they are too short or are crawling up your rear, sucking your stomach in to show how loose they are or, conversely, sticking your stomach out to show how tight the waistband is. Mama may need to pour a little toddy into her morning coffee if you keep this up.

You have also taken to wearing hoodies almost exclusively, even in the classroom. You say it helps keep your neck warm but your teacher and I think more likely it helps you tune out the noise and visual distractions so you can focus.
And focus you do! You LOVE school, especially math, reading, pinyin, Mandarin characters and art.

You come home every Friday with a bag full of your week's work.  A few of your best from this month include this abstract piece you said reminded you of butterfly wings.
A family portrait.
 A self-portrait.
And you are just beginning to learn multiplication with the Montessori materials.
One of your favorite things in school is Show and Tell on Fridays. You were very excited to take in your flute and play a song for the class.
Your reading abilities have made a giant leap forward and you are devouring books every chance you get. Your YiaYia and Pappou gave you a level 5 reader about the Trojan War/Horse this month and we were all amazed that you read nearly every word correctly, sounding out the harder words with little effort. You even took it to show-and-tell this week!
Speaking of your grandparents, they made their annual Halloween trip this month. You were very excited to dress up as a police officer and go trick-or-treating.

You love when they visit and pressed them into service playing checkers and Old Maid, and reading to you in Greek.

You insisted that YiaYia have the Old Maid card when she was the one who got stuck with it. She was equally insistent that she not have it.

One thing I hope you take away from these letters is just how much you are loved, by me, by Daddy, by Lucy and by all of your family and friends. Sure, I note your milestones and your quirks, your adventures and your setbacks in these letters. But above all I want you to know that you are loved, that you are wanted, and that you light up our lives, regardless of your shortcomings OR your accomplishments. Those things do not define you nor do they make you worthy of being loved. You are worthy of love just because YOU are YOU.

You are beautiful inside and out (but especially when you don't have your tongue sticking out at me...).

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