Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Kindergarten Graduate

Lucy Li! You did it, kiddo. You graduated kindergarten!!! We have proof in a fancy certificate, Chucky Cheese vouchers, and countless art pieces and handwriting practice sheets on the fridge, and that toothless grin spread across your sweet face. I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. It didn't come easy. You have daily physical, neurological, and emotional  hurdles to over come. You wanted to quit a few times, (I didn't tell you, but I wanted to quit too!) but you didn't.
You kept trying, until one day, you learned to READ! Letters became words. Words with meaning, and before we knew it, you read your first little book. Just like that, you made the magic of the written word yours. You wielded it's power, and owned it. Keep going. Keep trying, It gets so much better. I hope that one day your love of letters and words becomes a love for writing. You have so much to say, and so many stories to tell. I will be the first to read them all, and clap. Yes, I will embarrass you with my overwhelming pride. Brace yourself. The happy stories, the sad stories. They all matter, and I want to hear all of them. Thank you for the ones that you have already shared with me.

You learned about your senses. You discovered that although your sense of sight is lacking, your sense of smell, and taste, and hearing, and touch, are so keen. You learned to still your busy body long enough to hear the bird outside sing you a song. You delighted in their melody, as I delighted at the sight of you sitting there at the kitchen table, the day's efforts sprawled across that space with glue and  frustrated bits of paper, your eyes closed, your head cocked to one side, a smile spread across your face as you listened. Keep listening. Nature has so much to tell you about beauty. The chatter of the world has it all wrong. Keep listening to what the birds have to say. Keep taking the time to just be still.

You learned about the seven continents, and how each one is uniquely beautiful and special, but one is not better than the other. Maybe that wasn't part of the lesson plan, but we learned it anyway, didn't we? We talked about how no matter where you come from, you get to choose where home is. You get to choose where you will go one day. Know that wherever you go, I'll be there. For now, I really like your plan that your Baba will build you a little house right next to our house one day.

You learned that glasses are cool, white hair is beautiful, and your eyes are blue like the clearest blue water, not red. I will never forget that first June morning when I paused reluctantly in the doorway to your bedroom because you shouted, "Wait for me, mom!" You put on your sun hat and your glasses, and before running out the door you had to do a double take in the mirror. Your hair is growing freely now, you've never seen it this long. You ran your fingers through your snow white locks and declared, "You are right mom. My hair IS so pretty!" and off you skipped to play. You are still learning that mama says people that look different, and think differently, and  who speak and walk differently, are all important. They all need friends, and family, and love, and someone to believe in them. You are learning that words can be weapons to cut people down, but its way more powerful to use them as shoulders, to hoist each other up on. You will keep learning this, every day, until one day you believe all of it.

We took a field trips to the park, and the museum, but also to clinics, and hospitals where we learned about blood draws and EEGs and that was no fun at all. You learned that you can be so brave, when you need to be, but sometimes its ok to cry. When you don't want to be brave mommy can hold you and be brave enough for both of us. You learned that there is always more food. Always a drink when you are thirsty. That Mama and Baba never hit. That we will never laugh at you. That you will always be our girl. Sometimes you will forget these truths, but we will keep reminding you.

Lucy, I don't think that any other kindergartener in the whole wide world learned more than you did this year. We are so, so proud of you.

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