Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Proud Kimmie

I'm officially the proudest babysitter. I love 'my' kids so much... and their parents too of course. They make me feel so loved and valued! I am one lucky ducky.

So the deal is that I had a birthday a few days my birthday and when I picked up the kids from school it was their teacher who wished me a happy birthday first. "They've been talking about it all day, " she said. Proud moment # 1. Well, I guess it's not so much proud as feeling loved. I was just astonished that they would be talking about me at school and had to squeeze them enthusiastically as a result.

Then, it became apparent that something else was up. I had been told not to make dinner and then Luke said, "Kimmie, I gotta tell you something." He always starts sentences that way. I love it. He's just gotta tell me something. "Today, Mom is going to pick me up and then we're all going to my house and then I can't tell you anymore because it's a secret." Ok kiddo. The jig was up. I kind of suspected a little event when I was told not to make dinner, but then of course in their excitement to keep a secret, the kiddos pretty much told me the secret straight off the bat. How precious are they? There was much crying and arguing in the car every time someone got a bit too close to the secret. I played along and pretended not to know.

At the end of the day I was surprised with a lovely meal with both families made by Luke's Mom Elizabeth who also made the most scrumptious cake of life! A three layer lemon cake with mixed berries inside and lemon frosting. It was great! Ummm, yeah, I totally I had some for breakfast the next day, in case you were wondering.

The best part though was the two beaming children handing me their homemade cards. So proud... and having completed them all by themselves!

Luke's envelope portrays the game that he and Eleanor had been playing earlier in which one person got trapped in a string. In the foreground is another guy, cut/pasted from a separate piece of paper, who's coming to let the trapped person out.
Luke's relationship to drawing really interests me. The other day we were drawing on little ripped bits of paper, discarded from the project Eleanor had gotten frustrated with, and he seemed perfectly content just watching me for a while. He was very engaged though, asking questions at each step and even directing me a bit. On one that looked like a triangle I drew a pizza slice and on another I drew an apartment building because the rectangular shape looked like a Brooklyn Brownstone. When I finished coloring the flowers in the window boxes he turned it over and said, "Now you can draw the back yard here, cause that's where it should go."
I was totally amazed and and just looked at him for a moment. "Wow Luke," I said, " I never would have thought of that! You're so inventive." Then we had a nice long discussion about what it means to be inventive and innovative, which was equally fascinating.

As I've sat with this... I feel like it may just be a big clue into his view of the world, or at least drawing/art. I feel like the supplies (paper, crayons, paints) maybe very real and tangible to him, more so than I tend to think of them. When I sit down to draw I know I'm making a representation or just something beautiful. For him the building was real enough to flip over and imagine a back yard there. His envelope drawing (above) was very real too, like a diagram of the exact event that had happened earlier. What does this mean???? Whatever it is, he's super cool and I'm going to spy on him more to see if I can figure it out!

I was also impressed that Luke had just learned to spell my name. He made this neat little drawing and folded it into his envelope. He said it was him and me.

Then we have Miss Eleanor's card... starting with one GIANT googley eye...

and on the inside her sweet note that nearly made me cry...

The thing that gets me is that she knew what she wanted to say and just wrote it down. She's been reading and writing on her own for a bit now, just sounding things out. Her interest and nonchalance is so awesome. What broke my heart is this awakening ability to communicate in a whole new way. She has a thought and transforms it into words in her mind and then turns it into marks on paper that mean something to all of us. It's just so cool.

Both of my gifts from the kids are really all about them growing and developing and becoming thinkers and makers...my two favorite things. I just stress how awesome it is to witness and be a part of. I love you guys!!!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

My eyes welled up as I read this. I'm a former nanny and my kids did all these things for me as well. I absolutely adored watching the evolution of their drawings and writings. I learned that children always draw people as circles with their limbs just sticking out because when a child looks up at and adult, that's pretty much what they see! It is fun when their people drawings evolve as they get taller!

Hold on to those cards, you can show them their art when they graduate college:) Happy Birthday!