It’s momentous enough that I’ll take a break from writing the story of, well, my writing, and just muse a little about my six year old (who’s a story teller in her own right…but she can blog about that).
We gave her an extra year of pre-K, not for any of the usual reasons, like wanting her to have time to mature socially or progress in skill level, but because she’s a kid who makes great use of free time and I didn’t want to fill all of it up so soon with lessons and structure.
When we get home from preschool, she goes right to her room, and begins making up stories. She uses china animals or figurines as characters and book illustrations as scene set ups and it’s as if the story just explodes out of her, dialogue, metaphor, and all, pent up for the prior two and a half hours of school.
Example: “Darling, what’s wrong?” said her mother. “You’re pale as a lima bean!”
There are adult writers I know who would get that wrong, overdo it, say “gasped” instead of “said.” I think she’s got the knack. But of course, I am her mother.
Anyway, now it’s time for kindergarten, and she got a lottery placement at a nearby charter school, which I suspect will foster more of this side of her. But she has an awful lot of sweet little friends going to the neighborhood school, so that feels compelling, too.
Many of those friends were at the party we had today. It was a princess party and Belle came. It was amazing to see how the kids reacted to this obviously costumed actress. “You’re beautiful!” gasped one. (See? Even I used “gasped.”) And when Belle asked, “And who fell in love with the Beast?” all the kids said as one, “You did!”
The illusion, so fractured and thin to my adult eyes, was as good as reality for these six year olds.
After Belle left–not in a chariot but in a Chevy Lumina–we had a cookout and a castle cake. That was the magic part for me. Friends and family, sitting around, laughing and eating and watching our little girl grow up.