Kindergarten is a chapter closed today... but the lessons we learned will be with us always. At the beginning of the year "E" was struggling with being dropped off - fearful she would be left alone. Her teacher Mrs. Haddad, helped her through this transition, by having the entire class stand up with their arms stretched out in the air like big X's shouting, "E" You are safe and you are loved!" And "E" would bravely answer, "I am safe and I am loved!"
This year has flown by... the other day "E!" got in the car with a huge sigh and dejectedly announced, "We did plusses (addition) today, and I got them all wrong." When I asked her why she said, "Because I ran out of fingers!"
I know she's ready for summer - I can see it in her eyes when she catches a whiff of sunscreen, or spots a snow cone stand. She's got forts to build, softball to conquer and miles and miles of swimming ahead! And "A+" isn't far behind her - with turning three, more tutu's to collect, boots to burn through, endless dance parties, and pots full of Darjeeling to drink! ("A" really enjoys Darjeeling soaked sugar cubes more than the actual tea - but nobody really notices? Right?)
It got me thinking back to summers spent as a Loy girl in middle-earth Michigan. We were a host of hobbits my cousins, little sister and I - too small for adult stuff, like card games and too big to stay inside with the babies. So we dug holes to China and held epic battles on the farm. I learned a lot that way - stuff like what poison ivy looked like, and which scrapes and cuts really needed tending to and which ones you were willing to suck it up about just so you didn't miss any of the fun. Playing with cousins taught me a lot about fairness and in some situations how tricky life can be...
It started with a spoonful of sand. I'll be honest, I'd been wondering about it for quite some time... whether it would taste like the cinnamon/sugar mixture my Grandma sprinkled on buttered pieces of crunchy toast. It didn't smell like cinnamon sugar - but in that sand box on a lazy summer day, you can smell a million things. Honeysuckle dripping from the trees that edged the yard - tomatoes ripening on the vine - green grass recently crushed by bare feet - fresh laundry, crisp and clean, dancing like bodyless people on the line - lavender sweet and heady. So it's no wonder that I didn't smell anything remotely cinnamony.
We cousins had been digging in the dirt with a large silver serving spoon that "somebody else" had brought out. It was that silver spoon that tricked me... if I'd been digging with a stick I never would have thought to try it, but in that spoon, the grains of sand sparkled and glistened deceivingly. My sister was the first catch sight of me eyeballing the spoon full of sand - but as it inched toward my mouth all the cousins gaped at me - jaws slack with wonder and awe. I was the oldest (and perhaps not the sharpest knife in the drawer... pun intended) and this was one of those things that apparently they had wondered about too...
I've been tracking some of the things that "A" & "E" have wondered about this year, so that we could make a few discoveries together this summer. We're calling it the Lessner Family Bucket List Summer 2011. The girls are excited and I'm determining to put aside my preconceived notions about how each one of these things will "turn out"! Sometimes it's our sense of wonder that has been lost and we put off plans like digging to China, and tasting things sparkling glistening things. And then we realize that we're just doing the moments that count and not really being in the moments that matter.
We're making plans for what is good so that we too can find love and faithfulness - less stress and more wonder.
Lessner Family Bucket List Summer 2011
- Finish Little House on the Prarie @ night by flashlight w/"E"
- Weekly tea parties - hand written invitations & dressing up required!
- Wash one load of laundry in a big tub w/my family's old washboard - and dry clothes on a laundry line
- Eat dinner alfresco once a week
- Read then watch Charlotte's Web (one of the few books I never read as a kid because a kid in our neighborhood became a vegetarian after reading it and my mom couldn't risk that I'd stop eating hot dogs!)
- Make a recipe created by "E!" - start to finish by her directions
- Daddy/Daughter dates for the Stig & both girlies (separately)
- Mommy/the Stig dates where "A+" & "E!" get to go somewhere fun too!
- Vegetable of the week - even if it kills them!
- Make mudpies - despite the water rashoning in our area!
- From sun up to sun down "E!" gets to be "the charger" (in charge... she makes all the decisions & generally gets to boss us around - I'm praying she makes me take a nap & sends me to bed early!)
- Camp Allen - the best week of the year
- Two "Dark Dinners" (candlelight) with REAL CHINA - because "A" wants to know why we have china if we don't use it!
- Swimming lessons for "A+" (she gets a plus on that one because she got a swimming "suip" w/a tutu from Ms. Lori!)
- Dig a hole to China
- Try a spoon full of cinnamon/sugar... skip the sand