Thursday, September 6, 2012
Mary Clare and Charlie have both been at Childgarden since they were three months old. First it was four days a week, and now it's three days a week since I am home with them on Mondays and Fridays. Clearly, we are pleased with the school. Sure, there are things that irked us from time to time, but let's be real—unless one of us is going to stay home with the kids 24/7, we have to accept that things aren't always going to be done the way we would like. There have to be compromises.
The one thing we have never had any concerns about during our three-plus years at Childgarden are the teachers. We love them. Most importantly, the kids love them. Each one has a different style, but we've always been able to connect with them and appreciate how they let us talk their ears off and pelt them with questions at drop-off and pick-up. Best of all, they don't mince words, and they never hesitate to tell us what we should be doing to further each kid's development.
Miss Edna, Mary Clare's current teacher, is particularly frank in this regard. For example, for the past two weeks the focus has been on Mary Clare writing her name. "Debbie!" Miss Edna would say, none too quietly, "You need to have Mary Clare working on her name more. Write it out. In all caps!" Each day Miss Edna would offer additional tips on how to help Mary Clare along. We would work on it here and there, usually while killing time at a restaurant. Mary Clare was progressing nicely, and had mastered the M and the A.
So I was a little startled yesterday when I walked into school and Miss Edna all but yelled down the hall, "Debbie! You are not going to believe what Mary Clare did today! Mary Clare! Go get your paper to show your mom." Off Mary Clare raced to her classroom. What she presented is what you see above. I'm not lying when I say that Miss Edna and I stood there and raved about it like Mary Clare had just written a poem. In Spanish. Apparently we caused a commotion, because both Miss Darlene and Miss Kerry, two of Mary Clare's previous teachers, stopped to see what had so clearly captivated us. And that's when I cried. There I was with my grown up little girl, beaming from all of the attention, surrounded by three teachers who had so lovingly cared for her and helped her get to this point.
So, I know it's not an earth-shattering development. I know there are probably children far younger who can write their names. I'm proud, don't get me wrong, but it's not about that. I'm more wowed by how quickly she picked it up, and how downright thrilled her teachers were. I mean, they see this stuff every day. And have seen it every day for 20-plus years. So I appreciate the fuss, and I know Mary Clare does, too. Even if it was like pulling teeth to get the ragamuffin to take a picture with her paper.