Monday, January 14, 2013

my 7 year old

A few weeks ago only days after the Newtown, Conneticut shooting, I decided to visit Kenzie's first grade class. I went to lunch with Kenzie, and then to the library with her, and then finally to her class Christmas party. I was honestly so traumatized by that school shooting. It really hit home being that I have a first grader and it was first graders who were killed. I felt so much sympathy for those parents- knowing how adorable and precious my first grader is, I could understand what and who they had lost.
Visiting Kenzie's class was pure joy yet I got choked up a little here and there as I observed the liveliness and excitement in those little faces and imagined the unbearable loss of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary.
What a fun age, first graders are. I love how these kids still find joy in almost everything. They love stories, cheesy jokes, coloring, sparkles, animals, Christmas lights, singing songs, dancing,  jump roping, playing chase--and they love to talk and express themselves and they giggle often.

I really love Kenzie's stage in life right now. Her vocab is expanding daily and she is able to communicate in ways never imagined just 1 year ago. She can read and is learning the piano. She loves to sit down at the piano and figure out melodies of songs she knows by messing around and playing by ear.

Here she is at her first recital. She did a beautiful job. She is very graceful and natural as she plays. She learned to play a two hand song "Jingle Bells" and also the primary song "Picture a Christmas".

I just really like her hair in this picture. She watched me do this to mine several times with a pencil and she figured it out. 
But besides all the normal but exciting milestones of a 7 year old, I just love the little lady Kenzie has become or who she just is.

She got in the car the other day and started to cry. She said quickly, "I think I might have cheated on a test, I don't know, but I know I don't feel right. Can you help me pray and ask for forgiveness Mom? I need you to  help me Mom." Of course I asked her a million more questions after that and I could tell her heart was so heavy. We went and talked to the teacher the next day and it was more of a misunderstanding than anything but it was a big sincere sorrowful moment for her. Her prayer to Heavenly Father was the sweetest thing ever despite her many tears. Afterwards she said she felt so much better...
I was sort of happy in a twisted way that she had to ask for forgiveness because she was able to have such an awesome experience in repentance. A great way to teach her about our constant need of the Savior.

A while back, Kenzie used to get into the car after school with a sour sour attitude. She was instantly mad at Julia for something and fighting would always start. I knew she was probably hungry and tired from such a long day and I try to take that into consideration but bad behavior is bad behavior. I was very upset one day at the way she was acting and I let her know. I didn't think my way of letting her know was very effective and I probably should have cooled down first before I expressed how upset it makes me when she gets in the car and starts fighting with her sister. I finally said this to her, "I know you are tired, I am sure your feelings were hurt today or you were confused about something you were learning--but that gives you no right to act like a brat to your sister." (I know, harsh) I was having a bad day too. The next few days Kenzie was surprisingly kind and patient with Julia when we picked her up from school. I finally said, "Wow, Kenzie, you are such a joy to be around. I can tell you are nicer. What happened?" Her response, "I asked Heavenly Father in my prayers if he could help me be nicer to Ju Ju in the car when you pick me up from school." In moments like these when you find out your child is praying all on her own to help her become better, a parent couldn't be more grateful and more at peace about raising children...even if it's just a small moment...because I am sure Kenzie fought with Julia over who got the pink cup that night for dinner--but I will treasure that small moment.

What I also treasure about Kenzie that will definitely fade with age and so I therefore take every opportunity I can to enjoy it- she loves to have me close and to have me around. She wants me to walk her to her classroom everyday and she won't say goodbye until we give each other a kiss. She still loves to snuggle and hold hands as if she was still 3. I am pretty sure her love language is "physical touch". Boys stay away- because she melts with a hug, I can only imagine what a kiss will do. :)

On that note, Kenzie is adored and loved by the boys in her classroom. She has a very fun, flighty, giggly, and contagious personality. She is not shy and... bias mother here- absolutely adorable. Her teacher has expressed concern since the boys chase her at recess and fight over her. One boy gave her a ring and she gets letters all the time from boys asking her to marry them. A mother of one of the boys "Christian" told me "My son thinks your Kenzie is the most beautiful girl in the world and has eyes of an angel." So funny. She came home and told me she told one of the boys that he had to be a better student and not get in trouble in class if he wants to marry her. Way to pull them up to your standard Kenzie!

Xander's face is classic in this picture. 
I felt impressed to write down these little thoughts about Mckenzie. I think she will treasure them one day. I am fully aware that life's experiences can change people and children are all pure beautiful spirits- but I am really loving my 7 year old right now. I love all the new changes happening in her life and seeing a fun personality emerge. I can see glimpses of who she will be one day. I wish children could stay little forever, but Kenzie is proving that growing up is equally as exciting to a mother. I love you Kenzie.

Kenzie and Chancho

1 comment:

Tara said...

Such a tender heart! And the boys have picked up on it... :) Yikes!

Gage asks about every few days when we can come over and play or when you guys can come over.