Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dear Gwen: Month Eighty-Three

Dear Gwen,
Today you are eighty-three months old! HOLY COW YOU ARE ALMOST SEVEN, how did this happen?!

With our quest to sell our house in full swing, there have been some nostalgic moments recently as I start to come to terms with the fact that this house, the only home you've ever known, the house where you took your first steps, the house where you said your first words, the house where you've grown from a tiny collection of cells into an amazing, creative, funny, smart, and helpful little girl, will soon no longer be part of our lives. It's astonishing! One morning, as we lay snuggling in "the big bed" (every morning still starts with me waking up to an alarm, then waking you up and bringing you into our bed for a cuddle so we can all have a few minutes together before dragging ourselves into the day), I looked at your long-limbed girlbody lying next to me and thought - weren't you JUST a baby?! Didn't I JUST bring you home from the hospital a week or so ago?

This month you and I walked on the ferry to go visit our dear friends Sally, Dean, Rachel, and new baby sister Matilda for a day. It was a lovely visit. We hadn't seen Rachel for a long time, but the two of you got reacquainted quickly. I was very impressed with your patient behaviour that day. Rachel is just three years old, so she plays quite differently from you, and I could see that sometimes her behaviour was bugging you. But you took a deep breath and carried on, making a conscious choice to let it go instead of arguing about it. Good choice - arguing with a three-year-old is a dodgy prospect. I was proud of you, and told you so. Despite the age difference, you and Rachel had a fun day together, and I was so glad to meet Matilda and spend some time visiting with Sally.

The very next day, we had the challenging task of spending a whole entire Sunday out of our house, so that our new floors could be installed. We actually had a pretty fun day! We cruised around a few home improvement stores (which wasn't too exciting for you, except the part where you got to check out all the playhouses and sheds) and went to the library (which was considerably more fun) and wrapped up the day with a late afternoon movie, "Paddington". We all enjoyed the movie immensely. It was a very adventurous day!

Your piano lessons are going really well, and your teacher has commented that you are racing ahead of her lesson plan in some areas. I think this is because you are learning lots of scales and chord changes right now, and you have caught on to the patterns behind these and can learn them quite quickly. It's pretty neat to see your brain latching on to this stuff! You have started to learn some songs that you really like, such as "Bedtime Boogie Woogie". It's so fun to watch you enjoy what you are learning!

Your second term report card at school was terrific. Every item on your report card either stayed the same, or improved. One item - "maintains focus while working" - jumped up TWO grades! Your teacher noted, "Gwen continues to be an enthusiastic learner and is demonstrating some improvements to stay in self-control. She is able to maintain focus until a task is completed, not as interested in policing others, and is able to stop her activity when asked. She is beginning to add more details in her writing and including capitals and periods in her sentences." Way to go, Gwen!

Your social life at school is improving, too. With the excellent help of your school support worker, Miss Kelly, who runs a weekly Friendship Group that includes you and a few other girls from your class, your skills are blossoming and the difficult dynamics among this group are being closely monitored and supported. I must admit, with house hunting on the horizon I'm not entirely opposed to a new school for you - a fresh start away from a certain troublesome classmate might go a long way. On the other hand, the teachers and administrators at your current school are wonderful, helpful, proactive, and engaged, and I'd hate to lose that. Just one more thing to consider in our hunt.

Well, that's it for this month, Gwen. I am so proud of the amazing and creative little girl you have become, and am so blessed to be your mom. I love you a million billion kajillion and six!



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