Thursday, August 17, 2017

I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was (eight). Jesus, does anyone?

Dear Hen, 
Last school year you developed quite a strong bond with a little buddy, E.  You keep your emotions and thoughts sometimes as close as your skin but with this buddy you've opened up and let more of yourself out, rather than following along with what they want.   You've found a voice and when I asked you about it...the friendship, how close you will let him get to you when others you shrug their touches you told me about how you're weird, he is weird and you can be weird together.  That hit my heart so deep. I hope you are always good friends but at 7 and now 8 I am grateful you've found someone you don't feel judged by or the need to be shy with your personal inclinations and quirks.  We all need to find someone to be weird with. 

Mommy has Daddy, thank goodness.  With E you relax, you don't dig in, you don't get frustrated, you don't get bothered; you just are.  You can find a flamingo at the zoo and name it Bryan and talk about it for months after.  You can visit him while sick at the children's hospital and get close on the floor and bring your spinning disco light to take him away from it for an hour or two, playing games only you two are in on.  

You can wait all summer to go to the fair to ride crazy rides because you know you'll meet every height requirement this year and be okay with the fact that you decided to ask him to be your fair buddy, even though he would rather not ride a single ride.  But your magic rubbed off on him and gave him courage to ride his first big ride, The Sizzler. 
Feeling braver with my fearless boy by his side you road the pirate ship, a real stretch for him.  I asked E after he got off the pirate ship, on scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not at all and 10 being super pumped, how much did he want to ride the ship before he got on it. He said, "A 3!"  I said, "I thought so (he rode this first right with a hat and sunglasses all pulled in close) that you're off of it."  A shouting fist pumping, "10!!!"  Thus, the rest of the day was racing from ride to ride pushing limits, laughing together and enjoying each other.  When E wasn't ready he gave you the space to ride on your own, until he was ready to try it too.  You gave him the same respect by taking breaks between the big rides to jump through the maze houses on repeat x20. You were both so excited about your day together when I dropped off E you had me ask Daddy if we could go back to the fair that evening.  We did and an excited E and his Dad and soon to be stepmom were there, too.  Ready to experience the excitement all over again.  You have been good for each other.  I can't think of anything I'd want more for you than seeing you have a close friendship with someone, full of hidden jokes and goofy behavior and consideration of each of your needs.   

Being that you are at the same school and will be in the same class for the next 6 years, at least, I hope that friendship continues to grow and support each other.  I consider this a major milestone for you.  Opening up and letting someone in to our weirdness can be really risky and hard.  I am proud of you that you have.
Love, Mama

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Day of 3rd Grade

Dear Henny, 
The years roll on and you grow...and when I say grow I mean you have grown 4.5 inches since you left school in May for summer break.  You went to bed last night with a headache and body aches so I checked on you while you slept to be sure you hadn't developed a fever and drew back for a split second when I saw your body.  Not because you were riddled with sweat or sickness but because you looked like a small adult sprawled there.  You are only 8!  But you fill the bed with awkward limbs flailed in bends and angles your baby body wouldn't have allowed, yet your space blanket is still keeping you warm rolled up in the crook of your arm.  You are stuck between ages of little boy and moving on to a more private life of your own.
So, starting 3rd grade came with many big changes for you. You are in a 3rd/4th grade classroom, which reunites you with all of the same 3rd grade buddies and back with the 4th graders you shared k/1 and 1/2 with.  You had slight anxiety surrounding the reunion as you forged a special friendship with a kid last year that you hoped could withstand the pressures of playing with your old best buddy in the 4th grade.  With great relief you volunteered at the completion of the first week that, in fact, you have all grown a little and there was room to play with anyone you desired with no problems attached.  How exciting that you're sharing more of your own initiative!  I felt so warm and happy last night when you brought me your assignment folder and explained to me what you had to do and how it needed to be done.  Your goal being 100 minutes of reading for the week, you had a plan on how you were going to do that and ended up reading way past your 20 minute a night goals yesterday, but I dare not tell you, risking hindering a repeat each evening.  
Another big move was leaving behind one teacher you spent 3 years with and another you spent 2 years with.  They were both such amazing influences on you and we miss them already, but happy to say you are going to gain so much from your three teachers for the next two years.  

We are so proud of you.  Your amazing sense of humor, your quest for the weird and unusual of the the world make you endearing to be around.  I am particularly proud of your personal sense of style which you showed off nicely the first day of school with a shirt filled with hot dogs.  Your sister, Hazel, is quite envious of your ability to go to school, next year you both will be there and I will feel lost for a little bit, the first phase of my parenting over. 
She misses you so much while you're at school and begs me to go and pick you up.  I feel happy when the time rolls around, too.  There isn't much better than that moment when our eyes are searching for each other, they meet and you skip along to my door and get in.  
Love, Mama