Friday, September 2, 2016

Heart Letter, Month 81

Dear Lucy,

You are 81 months old.
This is the month that we wrapped up our summer life of lazy beach days in exchange for a new school year. But before we talk about school, let's finish up the summer because you had a lot going on!

Your favorite thing by far is when we have friends and family visit us and this month saw lots of visitors! First up was Yiayia and Pappou who you enjoy since they are always ready to read books, play games or make delicious food.

Their departure was quickly followed by Nana's arrival. You enjoyed showing her around your new neighborhood and making s'mores around the firepit.

She even taught you how to curl your tongue!
We also had a lot of friends visit from Chicago. First up was Natalie. You two have really enjoyed each other's company more and more. I do hope we can always keep this connection since she is one of the very few people who experienced your first 22 months of life with you.

Then Sloane and Naia came for the day and you really enjoyed their visit which surprised me since we had not seen them in over a year. You four teamed up like you had been together for months and spent the afternoon playing happily on the beach.

And Caroline came to visit for an afternoon as well.
When we didn't have visitors, you enjoyed playing with your new friends. You especially loved the zipline at Dagny's house.

We met up with Olivia and Bella for Chinese food followed by ice cream and a game of chess.

But mostly we just spent as much time as we could on the lake or at the beach. You got quite good at catching fish in a bucket. I'm amazed at how long and how still you will crouch over a bucket in shallow water until a fish swims in. And then, QUICK!, you scoop up the bucket and there it is, a bewildered fish swimming in circles.

When you weren't catching fish, you were swimming or playing football with the boys. You were consistently the only girl to join in so Daddy found a football for you at a local yard sale and now the boys are much more willing to let you play! I love that you don't let your gender hold you back from what you enjoy...when the boys said no, you didn't back down, you joined in and the next time you provided the ball. I love your spirit!

Unfortunately, you were devastated to learn that the school/local football teams only allows boys. "Why are there sports only for boys and not for girls? That's not fair!!" I'm afraid you will come across lots of areas that, as a female, you will not be encouraged to join in. The barriers are fewer than they were in my youth but there are many more to go. I have hope though, that with more girls like you around, those walls will be brought down.

Daddy and I also gifted you with your first kayak. I thought your smile couldn't get any wider than the first time you realized it was yours. You L.O.V.E. kayaking and took to it effortlessly.
 You are already talking about how you will compete in next year's kayak races for the 4th of July.
Swim team wrapped up with a swim meet this month. You finally learned to dive and can now do several strokes including backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and butterfly.

Sadly for you, the end of summer also meant that a few of your favorite lifeguards went back to college. You did your best to keep them busy before then and are already talking about seeing them next summer.
The back-to-school bash in our neighborhood was the last hurrah before school started last week. You found Emily and Olivia...and I didn't see you again for 2 hours!

The Friday before school we went to meet all of your new teachers and tour the school. Your homeroom teacher is Liu lao shi. You spend half of your day with her learning Mandarin, math and science (all taught in Mandarin).
You spend the other half of your day with Ms. McCarthy who teaches you English, social studies and science.
Once a week you get to go to art class with Ms. Siddons.
Yesterday you told me your favorite teacher is Ms. Owens who teaches you music twice a week. You said music is your favorite subject.
And you are thrilled when you get to see Principal Johnson who is also another favorite of yours. Fortunately, you haven't ever had to visit him in his office on official business!
And just like that, you are a first grader.

The funny Lucyism from this month:

We were looking at the website from your new school which had intertwined horseshoes as the masthead.
You asked me, "Why does the school have handcuffs on there?"
I'm so very proud of you. You have made the transition to a new school, new neighborhood, new EVERYTHING with humor and energy. You embrace change rather than fearing it. You view new kids as potential new friends rather than hanging back waiting to be asked to join in. You try new activities and new foods with gusto, assuming that most times you will enjoy them. You are a glass-half-full kind of girl and that makes everyone around you shine a little brighter.

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