Today, under the cover of an indecisive grey-and-blue sky on an otherwise uneventful morning, Aveline I got out the books and she started preschool.
This wasn’t a part of any grand scheme or as a result of any thought-out plans I had for March 2014. In fact, I kind of imagined her in a little class in the near future. But this was — is — a part of life and its ebb and flow; part of the surges and the pauses that make up this winding road.
For weeks now, I haven’t been able to keep her in printables. She’d trace the letters and numbers as soon as printed the worksheets, begging for more numbers, more letters, more words, asking “What’s it mean? What’s it mean? How many numbers is this? What’s it say?”
So I kept printing out worksheets, and in a moment of desperation while ordering preschool workbooks and realizing she wasn’t eligible for Pre-K until Fall 2015, I fired up kids’ Mandarin lessons on YouTube as a diversion.
While we waited for book orders to arrive, she latched onto Chinese. One week in, she requested miàn tiáo [noodles] for dinner. Two weeks in, she woke up singing Happy Birthday in Chinese.
See, the thing about kids is, they’re kind of unpredictable. We can make plans about what we think we might do with them, how we think they might act, what we think they might like, and when it’s all going to happen — but the truth is, we have no idea. Absolutely no idea.
The last of the workbooks came in the mail yesterday, as well as Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Practical Chinese (the last book is a little advanced for her right now, but I need a guidebook for myself).
Right away this morning, before I had even gotten out of bed, a small person appeared at my bedside, asking to trace letters and do school. And so, after breakfast, we began this journey into phonics and reading, counting and math, characters and pinyin.
A month ago, I wouldn’t have predicted this time to come so soon. But I love the places life takes us, and I love watching as my daughter’s distinct self emerges. She’s her own person; she is not me. (Note to self: I think this is probably an important point worth hanging on to as she grows older.) Right now, she’s here in front of me, looking to me and asking me to guide her. And when (i.e., every single day) I feel the weight of this sacred responsibility, I can ask wisdom of One who freely gives.
And He will meet me, He will answer me, and He will sustain me.
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