New Terrain

I can’t explain what happened to my heart this morning while visiting Kindergarten.

I found myself doing the lung expansion thing as if I were trying to get enough air (or on other days, keep my dress up). I thought my heart was sure to pop straight out of my chest when I heard my child start talking.

Tay’s Kindergarten class was studying the letter Aa this week. For show and tell, she wanted to bring her sister Avery. Her teacher thought it was great, so Avery was very very excited. I was too actually. This is a part of my child’s world that I’ve really not laid eyes on as of yet. Thirty-five hours a week she is there, and I was anxious to really see who her friends are and start putting 2 and 2 together with the stories she tells us about her day.

Tay and A walked up to the teacher, seated with the class in a circle and with her hand on Avery’s low back Tay said, “This is my sister Avery … we like to play a lot … and … I just love her very much” (thats the pic below – she was stroking Avery’s hair & looking at her at that point). I was struck by how loud and clear Taylor spoke. She was confident. She knew her audience. There wasn’t an ounce of shyness in her. And if you know me well, you know little else could have made my heart swell more.
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Her teacher asked her a couple other questions and then there was a momentary lull where Tay leaned over and whispered in her teacher’s ear. She nodded her head and smiled, and Taylor crouched down, took A by the hand and went one by one around the circle introducing Avery to each and every one of her classmates by name. “Avery, this is my friend Ryan.” (scoot scoot) “This is Tyler.” (scoot scoot)
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I stood amazed. My child, who yesterday tried my patience beyond description, today, so thoughtfully and without prompting or suggestion, considered her sister – practically her other half – and introduced her, one by one to this whole new part of her life.

My eyes watered for quite a while after we left the classroom. It was one of my most precious mommy moments thus far. A little bit captured by the lens. All of it captured in my heart. It really is hard to adequately describe how special it was.

Taylor seems so old to me. I look at her and she’s tall. Her laugh is loud and strong. Her concerns for the day no longer max out at what flavor juice she will have at lunchtime or how long her nap will last. The baby days are quickly fleeting and yet, in all this new independence where I sometimes feel like an outsider looking in, she came home today, crawled up on the couch next to me and said, “I love to cuddle up to you. It’s the best thing ever.” I gave her a kiss on the cheek and while I was, these moments and her voice, were being pressed into my memory.

Although it has been a bit difficult, and I’ve missed her a great deal during the day, I realized today that Taylor’s advancement into the big world of school really is a wonderful thing. After seeing her interact with her friends and teacher, hearing the way she spoke, and witnessing a small trait of kindness I had not yet had the opportunity to see and then how it was reciprocated back to her, I realize, how great she’s going to do in school. And my heart hurts a bit less.

I am however thrilled that she favors cuddling with me. I hope that part never goes away.

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~ by hthr on September 21, 2007.

3 Responses to “New Terrain”

  1. What a great great caption to keep forever for you and both your girls. Way to go getting your camera out and writing out each word while you remember it! Very special story.

  2. Beautiful post. I love how Taylor loves her sister.

  3. Taylor does seem so grown up. It sounds like she is learning a lot in Kindergarten. I get the feeling that she speaks in complete sentences, speaks in a loud and clear voice, uses her manners, makes right choices at school, and shows respect. I am a Kindergarten teacher. I am having a difficult time this year. I have about five students that are having a very difficult time with making right choices. May I borrow her for a few days so she can teach a few of my students some of the things she has learned? Hehe

    This is a good way to preserve memories-blogging with stories and pictures. I am very new to blogging myself.

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