We’re almost done. This afternoon, either Tom or I will pack O’s last lunch for 3rd grade. Alyssa will pack her last lunch for 8th grade. As of 1:30 tomorrow afternoon I will have a 4th grader and a freshman in high school.
Wheee!! This whole life is passing me by so very quickly. The lives of these beautiful girls are flying by. I want to grab it by the pigtails and slow it all down.
Alas, I can’t do that. So I’m holding on tight to this ride and trying to take it all in, absorb all the love, the memories, even the irritation, so when I’m old and they’re grown I can look back and bask in love we’ve nurtured and grown.
I will confess that 3rd grade has been the most challenging so far for Miss O, though. I don’t know if it’s just that the academic requirements are the most difficult so far (they say 4th grade will be that much harder still…) or if it was the combination of teachers (she had a new special ed teacher this year as well as, obviously, a new classroom teacher (it was also her classroom teacher’s first year teaching 3rd grade, this same teacher took eight weeks off for maternity leave during the middle of the year)) but life wasn’t always easy this year.
I got more emails and notes home this year regarding behaviors, requesting suggestions for how to motivate her, and just informing us of issues than we ever received before.
Olivia can be…stubborn. Yeah, that’s a good word. She either wants to work hard and totally gets the work or she…doesn’t. I honestly don’t think she can control these things either. Math is difficult and when we sit down to do math, I can see her shutting down. She needs a lot of one-on-one time and redirection when working on math. She loves to write but sometimes those fine motor skills get in the way and she doesn’t space her letters well, making her handwriting hard to read.
She wants to do well. I know this. She beams whenever anyone tells her she’s doing well. She knows she’s smart she just has a hard time showing it sometimes.
Her fashion sense, however, continues to be impeccable.
She brought home a sheet of paper on which she and her classmates had to write nice things about each other. She got a lot of compliments on her hair and her outfits. One kid did suggest that she might talk to her classmates a little more. How she laughed at that one.
As she gets older, Olivia is beginning to understand that she’s different from her peers. She pointed out to me several times this year that she did math sheets that were different from her classmates’ sheets. She is still very socially awkward and she knows it. So far, she doesn’t seem bothered enough by her social awkwardness to do anything about it but it’s only a matter of time.
I want so badly for her to have friends. I want her to come out of her shell and talk to her peers. I want them to see how funny she is, how sweet she is, how imaginative she can be. I want her to have the kind of friendships her sister has and honestly, I’m not sure she’ll get that.
We’re trying though. This summer we’ll work on math facts, we’ll read, she’ll write stories both on her tablet and one paper. We’ll have playdates with classmates and encourage one on one communication between her and her peers. We’ll help her maintain the academic gains she made this year and prepare her for 4th grade.
And we’ll continue to help her remember how to behave in public. We’ll encourage good behaviors and develop consequences for less favorable behavior. We’ll keep on striving to reach her fullest potential.