Friday, May 25, 2012

As the school year winds down

May is the new December, or so it seems, with every week marking another "last" and a constant stream of goodbyes and celebrations that are all coming to ahead this week.

Last weekend the girls performed in Tri-Star's annual gym show and Zoe had her last day of Hebrew School for the year. Today she is having a fiesta lunch with her extra curricular Spanish class and next week beckons with Olympics Day and a pizza picnic for the whole 2nd grade.

Ada finishes her 2nd of 3 years at Montessori school today. She'll be a kindergartener in the fall! After a full Memorial Day Weekend full of parties, playdates, a parade and the pool (!), June opens with its chaos of camps: Montessori camp, park district camp, swim camp and--for Zoe--2 nights in a platform tent at Girl Scout camp.

I know it's traditional to look back in December, not late May, but with children the ages of Zoe and Ada, it's hard not to feel a sense of finality with the wrapping of teacher gifts and mailing of graduation checks (my youngest cousin is a high school senior for a few more weeks). And this has been a wonderful year.

Zoe matured into the kind of kid who can disappear into her room (or the backyard) for hours on end, writing fantastic, dialogue-filled stories or creating lists of names (that she can use in future stories). I've also found her listening, rapt, to audiobooks as she does chin-ups underneath her loft bed. And speaking of exercise, this girl is all muscle. She spent the school year on Tri-Star Gymnastics' GIJO Level 3 Team, and mastered skills like the splits, round-offs and walk-overs. She solidified her best friendship with a fellow brainy classmate, but cultivated a wide range of friends from Hebrew School, girl scouts, the neighborhood and her class. My wish for her third grade year is an academically challenging teacher and for her to finally start broadening her palate.

And there's Ada. She's still got a ways to go in the maturity department, but we've evolved from multiple daily meltdowns to one or less per day. She's picking up on so many skills at school and can perform simple arithmetic and read simple books (We love Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie series). She's an affectionate, fun-loving kid with a lot of friends (including two "best friends").  She's given up the stroller and willingly walks over a mile each way to school. And just this week I took the training wheels off her bike so she can start learning to balance on two wheels.

It's been a good year for me, too. My team is having a lot of successes at work, I got to redecorate our house and I picked up some tricky skills skating with Derby Lite (mohawks and backwards cross-overs for the win!). Finally, the sun is shining, it's 70 degrees and sunny and I'm on day one of a four-day weekend.