Today is the last (full) day of school for my daughter Hannah. Tomorrow she will go for just a few hours in the morning, pick up her report card, and finish up her time in grade one. I’m reflecting on how very far she’s come since her first day back in September, and who my daughter is right now.
My Daughter on the Last Day of School
Today, Hannah is:
… seven years old.
… an inch and a half taller than she was when she started grade one.
… obsessed by all things Star Wars.
… long and gangly, all skinny legs, knees and elbows.
… performing for the whole school in the year-end talent show (she’ll be singing “Tomorrow” from Annie).
… able to read simple books and getting better at spelling all the time.
… cautious for the first few minutes in a new situation, and then exuberantly outgoing.
… getting very good at riding her bike without training wheels.
… creating amazing artwork that blows my mind.
… planning to be a scientist when she grows up.
… writing and sending a letter to her friend.
… able to prepare basic meals on her own.
… loving her new shorter haircut.
… sometimes still in need of a big hug from her mom.
… pushing me to let her walk to school by herself.
… excited about her theatre day camp starting soon.
It’s kind of amazing to see how very much herself Hannah has become. Her talents are not my talents. Her knowledge and interests are not my knowledge and interests. She still needs me – sometimes even intensely so – but every day it’s less and less. She’s growing, and growing up, in front of my very eyes.
That first baby is always something of a science experiment. You learn as you go, and I’m still learning. When Hannah does something for the first time, it’s always my first time, too. My first time with a child who can read. My first time with a child who can place her own phone calls and write her own letters. My first time with a child performing in the talent show in front of the whole school. She’s the trailblazer, and we’re trying to figure it out together. We don’t always get it right, but we do pretty well on the whole.
Today, my little science experiment is finishing grade one. And I’m waxing nostalgic, and trying to memorize this moment before it, too, slips away, like so many other moments before it.
What are your children like right now?