Gavin is weeks away from the end of Kindergarten! He has made incredible progress this year, keeping up with his class and gaining his voice. He is reading! Before this year I wondered how far away reading was for him, and one day in winter I realized he was already there. The letters play tricks on him, shifting around and tripping him up, and if the words are more than about five letters long, he’s lost the first letters by the time he sounds out the end of the word and ends up with jabberwocky but he tries and tries harder and it’s getting ever so slightly easier each day. I am so proud of him and so excited about how much reading will open up his world! He just aches to know everything about everything. And now he can ask! It wasn’t so long ago (a year and a half) that all he could do was point and say “What?” Now he can ask me why Mars is far away and why Earth is a good place to live and why it’s bedtime and what is making that noise. I do my best at answering. I used to have to just guess and guess and guess again what direction his mind was going, fumbling to figure out what he wanted to know and how I could answer in a way he might be able to grasp. We are both so grateful for the tearing down of the language barrier.
He never stops asking questions and trying to figure out the mysteries of the universe and the mysteries of scheduling. He still has so many struggles ahead of him, but mostly these days I am able to believe that he will be just fine and will tackle whatever life throws his way. Every single time I hear a new word from him, I celebrate. It’s a big, big gain. Every single word. This morning: vampire. Yesterday: annoyed! Remembering how hard words and concepts that don’t have a visual representation were just a year ago, this is astounding! And, he’s got a way with numbers. It makes me smile to see how naturally the language of math comes to him… no tricks, no alternative rule sets. If we ask him what five plus three is, he might count it out, or he might just answer, no hesitation.
He’s making friends. I absolutely love watching him play with his friends, making up games to explore faraway galaxies with Mario and Luigi, having loud altercations between Green Lantern and Iron Man, hours of silence while building Lego starwars ships. He and Lilah spend most of their afternoons together, alternating between giggles and screaming. I am so glad they have each others company.
Lilah isn’t sure whether she wants to be a princess or a superhero. I hope she goes for superhero. I don’t want her to choose royalty as a career path, but I do want her to make her own decisions. I want her to know how to get dirty, and not always have her way, and be strong. She’s learning a lot of that from her best friend, her big brother. She’s ready and waiting for preschool to start next fall. She can’t wait to have her own class just like Gavin. She told me the other day that she will be the teacher! She’s at that age where she has terrible tantrums, falling to the floor dramatically when she can’t have graham crackers for dinner. She loves animals, stuffed animals, all of Gavin’s friends, and spinning around in circles. Both of them still love that, actually.
She pulled out our I Like It When… book the other night and I was reminded of when that was Gavin’s favorite. We read that book every single night at least twice for months if not years. Now he requests the Magic Treehouse series, the Commander Toad in Space books and any book about Iron Man, Green Lantern or Ninjas he can get his hands on. We all still love anything by Mo Willems or Mem Fox though.