I try not to brag too much here at the 'spit, because, well, any parent worth her salt thinks her kids are the greatest things on the planet, and I know all of you would much rather hear about me being pooped on, or going berserk over an errant mouse. But permit me, just this once.
I walked out onto the patio yesterday morning, hoping to have some quality time with my hammock. But I heard Eric and Addie jabbering over on the side of the house, Eric letting out big, "Oh, Addie, that's amazing!"-type phrases. So I checked it out.
And lo and behold, Addie is hanging out with these gigantic pieces of chalk Eric got her, and she's writing. SHE'S WRITING. I mean, I should qualify. She's actually dictating. She asks Eric, "Daddy, how do you spell 'house'?" and he spells out the letters, and she writes them down. And the handwriting is like something out of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. But it's legible, for sure, and she's doing it pretty fast, and fairly accurately.
I stood there with my jaw dropped, because up until then she hadn't shown much interest. Most of her "pictures" have been massive scribblings, and though she's done some tracing in a letter book Eric got her, she seemed to tire of that pretty quickly. So it was strange and delightful to see her sprawled out on the walk, chalk in hand, writing.
In that moment, as a parent, you try not to freak out overly much. You don't want the kid to get a complex or anything. But I definitely felt proud, and also really excited. It was like a glimpse of things to come--reading (she's started picking up some sight words this week, too), writing things down, making representative pictures. It's like this whole world of expression and learning that's just about to become available to her. And that's really cool.
Of course, I don't want to age her too fast. She's still a baby in a lot of ways. She is constantly scratching at her butt because she doesn't wipe well enough after going to the bathroom (be careful shaking hands!) and she has really cute sayings still, like she says "bor" instead of "or," as in "Mommy, is your favorite color red bor yellow?" She's completely obsessed with Peter Pan the book, and incessantly drags three stuffed animals around the house, calling them "Wendy, John, and Michael," but can't sit still for the movie because it's too long. She still drools a little.
But I have this feeling we're rounding a corner, that things are changing, and fast. It's heady.