Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Entering The Golden Age?

Late Blooming Mom has an older brother who also became a parent later-in-life.  He has one child, and she's about a month shy of twelve as I write this.  He once described the period of a child's life between ages six and twelve as "The Golden Age Of Childhood," a time when kids are self-reliant enough to do some things for themselves, way more interesting to be around than they used to be, yet not yet infected with the attitude and hormones that tend to govern adolescence.

All signs point to Thing 1 and Thing 2 entering that Golden Age. 

Every day, they finds things about which they seem to be just plain thrilled.

They are gigglers, even uproroarius laughers, and can tell and make their own jokes.

They are curious, asking questions to figure out the way the world works.  They are quick to put new concepts together, and creatively combine old knowledge and new -- if not with entirely correct results.  (Just last night, when I was reading a picture book to Thing 1 and the text mentioned "Neon," he asked if "Ne-off" is when the lights go off).   They have activities about which they are passionate.  Even the mere promise of dinner at Souplantation, where they will get baby ice cream cones, is cause for celebration.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Their First Graduation

I admit it, I've been a cynic about the growing trend of allowing kids to "graduate" from anything other than, say, high school.  Since I was a kid, it seems graduation ceremonies have multiplied, and now kids are donning caps and gowns for eighth grade graduation, elementary school graduation, and yes, even preschool graduation.  From the outside looking it, before I become a parent, this trend just seemed to me an extension of the growing American over-emphasis on self-esteem -- making everybody a winner, and conflating every move up a grade level into some extraordinary achievement.

But I am a cynic no more.

I liked the home-made motorboards.

They were made of construction paper, and each preschooler decorated his or her own.

No rented graduation caps for these kids, nor formal robes.  This was a happily home-spun graduation, from a warm, fuzzy preschool. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Everything's Still Beautiful At The Ballet

Nothing like seeing your precious little ballerina in a group of three-to-five-year-olds prancing around a stage in white tutus and bunny ears to make you gush.  My daughter appeared this afternoon in her dance school's annual end-of-the-year production, her very first real performance.  This year's production was entitled BEYOND WONDERLAND.

There were plenty of students on stage at this production who'd studied ballet, jazz, tap and modern for years.  And they did some amazing work.

But I was all eyes on the wee ones, the ones who, like my daughter, take 40 minutes of dance class once a week.  I expected to be at least a wee bit emotional when my kid took the stage.  But the funny thing is, my eyes started watering the first time some of the smaller kids took the stage, long before my own kid's group.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

FREEEEEEEDOM! Or, Mom's 3-Night Vacation

Last weekend Late Blooming Dad sent me off to the East Coast after assuring me, for weeks, that I'd have a much better time at my 25th college reunion if I wasn't encumbered with two five-year-olds whom I'd have to feed, bathe, and escort to the bathroom, not to mention make sure were entertained at every event.  I admit I'd had misgivings; my first instinct had been to schlep the entire family with me for the big event, even though I knew from previous reuinons in my pre-kid life that, aside from the family field day event, which always involves a few child-friendly activities, there would be precious little for them to do while I ran into person after person I hadn't seen for decade(s) who wanted to chat me up.  I had a picture in my mind of my kids frolicking on my college green, where I'd spent many a happy/tortured/day-dreaming/angst-ridden/text-book-reading/frozen-lemonade-eating hour.  I thought about them wearing way-too-expensive clothing  items purchased from the university bookstore, emblazoned with the university's name.  I thought about dining with them in the dining halls, sleeping with them in the dorms, and the cosmic coolness of walking around my youthful haunts with the kids who weren't even a gleam in my eye back then.

But Late Blooming Dad was right.