Wednesday, November 9, 2011

hop, hop, hop

last night, a truly amazing thing happened.
i picked up my kiddos and headed to the house after work. that's the normal everyday stuff. keep reading. the girl had some homework, and since daddy was cooking, we decided to go ahead and tackle it before we all got sleepy. this was her first REAL homework assignment.

but i guess you need the back story to fully appreciate this amazing-ness. here goes...
a few weeks ago, i had a parent/teacher conference with the fabulous Ms. W, my girl's kindergarten teacher. it was a general meeting in which the kindergarten teachers would meet with each student's parent to discuss their child's report card and their child's progress or lack there of to date. the same day this was to occur, the little man had surgery. so this mama was tired and emotional, to say the least. i walked in the door, terribly early for once in my life so i had to sit in the office until my appointment time. now i'm feeling like a kid in trouble and i began to wonder:
 am i old enough to be doing this?
 am i mature enough to accept the outcome of this meeting?
 what if all this time, all this time, i've been convinced my child was 'gifted' and more  intelligent than any other child her age and it was simply a mother's deluded vision of her child?
 will i get the wind knocked out of me if there's an observation made by the teacher i didn't plan on hearing?
 am i ready for this?

these questions continue to swirl around in my mind as i head to the gym. i'm surprising my girl and picking her up this day. she's excited to see me but confused, nonetheless. she asked why i was there and i remind her it's parent/teacher conference day. i get her settled in the hallway with the help of Ms. W's puzzle and shut the door to the room. my palms are sweating now and my knees are shaking a bit. i take a seat across the table from the teacher. it's time to begin.

we discuss Norie's report card, she asks if i have any questions. she shows me some 'characters' N had written the first day of school and then follows up with what the 'characters' should have been: the alphabet. my head starts spinning again. she continues to show me things from the beginning of the year but now, she's showing me the exact same exercises from a week before. my girl's progress was inspiring.
my girl, she was four when she started kindergarten. now my head is tingling, hairs standing on awe of my child. a few more items are brought up for discussion and the teacher informs books will be going out in the next few weeks for guided reading to be done at home. i'm all for it, anything i can do to help.

Ms. W says there's one more thing she'd like to share with me before continuing. she turns around, grabs a small book, looks squarely into my eyes and i see hers are twinkling. i seriously don't know what is going on at this point. she lays the book in between us with the words facing me. she explains that earlier this week, N, read this very book i was looking at in the very chair i was sitting in at this very moment. i felt as if rays of light were coming out of Ms. W at this point and missed a few words that came out of her mouth. but, what i heard next was even more delicious. my girl headed back to her table to sit with her tablemates after getting praise and exclaimed with joy "Y'all I just read a book. I've been waiting my WHOLE LIFE to read!"

shut the front door.
my heard be still.
oh my ghandi.
is this for real?

i cried. sitting right there in that very chair at that very table my girl had experienced such magical joy and i cried some more. Ms. W, she got teary eyed, too, all because of my girl.
all of those questions i had before, doubts, anxiety-gone.
i shouldn't have even gone there.
i should have known better.

now, that very first book she read was only a few pages long. but it doesn't matter one bit. SHE READ A BOOK PEOPLE! the only sadness i felt was that i didn't experience it in the moment my girl did.

back to last night.
the guided reading book was her homework; it was ten pages long. the book's title was 'hop, hop, hop'
and you know what? she nailed it. every single word, no help, no prompts, no nothing.
SHE READ THE WHOLE BOOK! i squealed with excitement, squeezed her, kissed her, high-fived her face (i was going for her hand, but i missed!), squealed some more, did the happy dance and kissed her sweet cheeks until she begged for mercy.
i was there. i saw this happen. i watched that beautiful grin burst throughout her entire body.

we were up almost an hour after bedtime last night.
me and my girl.
reading books, together.


  1. Kayla, Thank you for sharing this story. It is so funny (and a bit odd) to read about the parent/teacher conference experience from the parent's perspective since I was on the other side for four years. As I read about your sweet girl's success, I got chills and even a little teary. What a wonderful accomplishment. It always made my heart smile when a child read to me for the first time and I had the honor to tell many parents about their child's success. I know it will be very different next time I go to a parent/teacher conference since I will be the parent. Thanks for sharing your story and YAY! for Norie!

  2. Lauren-it was magical! I can't imagine being able to share with parents this amazing accomplishment. And I feel certain your little girl will amaze you more and more each day she's in your life!