Thursday, October 25, 2012

Madeline's 5 1/2 and Growing Up Fast!

Miss Madeline just seems so grown up. It blows my mind to think I have memories from when I was her age; I love knowing that she may remember snippets of this happy time. She has the cutest little gestures and says "totally" and "like," as in "I totally forgot" or "She was, like, so excited!" She has a bestie at school; her name is Hannah and Madeline told me yesterday when I picked her up that Hannah's going to ask her mom not to hand out dark chocolate on Halloween, because, like, Madeline doesn't really like it.

A couple of months ago, we moved a desk into her room -- it was the tiny table my grandfather used at the University of Illinois when he was going to med school. I filled a tin with markers and put a couple hundred sheets of paper on her shelf. Now she disappears for hours, coloring every day when she gets home from school and during her quiet times on weekends. She's prolific; I'm constantly amazed by the incredible artwork she creates -- she's really talented!

Madeline was our tour guide at her school's open house; Rob and I laughed when we saw that every piece of art she created, whether it be a painted pumpkin, a skeleton made out of Q-tips, or a self-portrait, had giant eyelashes. And she's really starting to sound out words and take a stab at writing. She comes home from  Kindergarten practicing sightwords, with fun stories about who did what. She regularly writes Rob and me darling little cards telling us we rock. (I'm saving them to show her during her teenage years when she forgets how awesome we are).

She's silly and playful! And she's fiercely independent, brave and determined, which I love about her. She picks out her own clothes every morning for school and will push through her frustration to figure something out by herself. Suddenly she's way over ponytails and only likes hairbands. Blue jeans? Nope. Leggings, yes. I know her well enough to recognize when she's feeling shy, timid or when her feelings are hurt, but she's stoic and tough and will never admit it. Like her first day of school -- her body language gently registered nerves, but she insisted she was not afraid. My mom used to always tell me to fake it 'til you make it. Madeline seems to already have mastered that at just five years old...what a life skill! I've learned at those times to wrap her up in big, long hugs if she'll let me. We usually don't say a word.

She's old enough that she enjoys big girl playdates, where she goes to someone else's house without me. This summer, she felt so cool going to vacation bible school every day at the Methodist Church by our house. She loves her ballet class on Thursdays, and is kind of kicking the boys butts in flag football. Of course, every now and then she'll break into cartwheels and the coach will bring her back. Last month, she played soccer and was pretty darn good by the end of the season! She scored three goals in their last game! And Rob recently took her to a Marquette University volleyball game (our neighbor is the head coach) where Madeline was the youngest participant of a 100 in a clinic after the match.

My favorite time of the day with her is bedtime. Every night when the boys are packed in, I climb under the covers of her twin bed to hear about her day. It's when she lowers her guard and cuddles. She's asks question after question, like, "Mommy, why are big boys so rough when they play?" and "What were you for Halloween when you were little?" Then I remember how young she still really is. I sing her a lullaby, just like when she was an infant, then we say our prayers and blow our nightly kisses.

Seeing how fast she's growing is a daily reminder of how I must treasure these everyday moments. And I truly do. Love you, sweet girl!
Flag football. She didn't care that she was the only girl.
Last man standing! She's fast.
The last 20 minutes of every soccer practice was a scrimmage.
I love how the college athletes behind her think she's awesome!
She's a monkey. We have to get her in gymnastics!
Getting a mani/pedi with Ning and Mommy!
She loves the baby Gigi gave her when she was born.


Kisses for Kai said...

How has the time flown-by so quickly? I remember visiting you in Peoria when she was just a baby. Madeline is such an amazing big girl now. I love hearing your stories about her. She's just like her mommy - wonderful!

Mollie said...

I lOVED this post and Madeline will too one day.

Lucy said...

She is such a sweet girl and you are such a great mommy!