Thursday, December 16, 2010

Proud of My Wiggly, Ants-in-the-Pants Little-Big Girl

Madison, 2005
Believe it or not, my little girl turns six today.  It's hard to comprehend.  Seems like yesterday she was one and learning to walk.  Seems like last week we brought her home for the first time.  I'm blown away at how quickly time has run.

The last two years has been a whirlwind of change.  Madison heading to pre-school for the first time - only two days a week and dropped off by Daddy, but still.  

Then came putting her on the BUS every day, five days a week for half-day Pre-K.  The BIG YELLOW BUS.  Our little girl.  Watching her get swallowed by that yellow monster every day.   

Now she's in Kindergarten.  Five days a week, all day, no naps.  She's writing letters and words now.  Counting.  Getting great "marks" on her "report card".  Making friends, and.... unfortunately...running into those kids who take advantage of her good nature, like the one kid on the bus who bugs Madi for food from her lunch every day.  

Along the way, mix in Madi's diagnosis of "sensory integration disorder" (before Zack's autism diagnosis) our stumbling first steps into the world of intervention, and our daughter's awesome progress through nearly two years of it until she was finally phased out last year.

Madison, 2010
So now she's a bright, happy, intensely curious, investigative, fun-loving little girl.  She likes her quiet time, but she also loves being active, too.  Her Kindergarten teacher sums it up best: "Madison is a little girl who needs to be on the move....even when she's already moving..."  She loves reading and stories and poems, (WIN!), and loves make-believe. 

She's also a remarkably relaxed kid.  Recently, a mix-up with the school buses sent her back to the bus garage instead of day care, and of course that sent me there in panic, expecting the worst...but Madison was just chillin' with her bus driver and aide, and they marveled over how she thought the whole deal was no big thing, at all.

One thing I'm extremely happy about and hope will continue is that Madi seems very happy in her own skin.  She doesn't worry much what others think about her, (though how much a six year old is aware of that, I'm not sure), and she's learned to ignore anyone who picks on her.  

That's important, because I want Madi to be her own person, and to be comfortable doing so. I can admit to never finding that place of self-assured peace.  I eventually became comfortable with who I was, but have never been able to ignore others' opinions completely. I've always felt out of place, the square peg in the round hole.  I still feel that way - rather intensely, sometimes - I've just learned to hide it real well.

Recently, I saw a perfect example of the marvelous little individual Madi is becoming.  This past Sunday she had practice for the kids choir's Christmas Concert this coming Sunday.  I stayed after for the two hour practice and read, did some writing, too.  

Towards the end I went into the auditorium to watch, and there she was, my wonderful little girl - standing on the top riser, and while everyone else was all rigid and facing forward and singing and trying their best not to wiggle, Madi is swaying and doing half-little turns while waving her arms like a little fairy ballerina.  She's singing right along, but there she is, doing her own thing, and having a grand time. I thought it was hilarious and got a good chuckle.

Afterward, though, when the leader of the choir spoke to the parents, it was quite obvious she didn't think such antics were nearly as humorous.  In no way did I think she was singling out Madi, (she seemed to be generally addressing the parents), but as she - rather sternly - lectured about how we should spend this week reinforcing to our children that wiggling around during the performance was NOT acceptable, I honestly had to force myself NOT to burst out laughing.

Now, I'm not one for encouraging my daughter to be a troublemaker, so we did talk to her about it.  Sorta.   And I have other feelings about big, overdone performances with little kids that I'm not going to talk about here.  Suffice to say, I'm very proud of the girl Madi is becoming, wiggles and all, and the best thing I could hope for her is while the rest of the world is walking in lock-step and staring straight forward, arms rigid by their sides, she'll always be spinning and twirling against the flow, having a grand time just being herself. 

Happy birthday, Madison.