Thursday, April 05, 2007

Heart Swells

Yesterday was a Love Lauren day. Everything she did just seemed so cool and she made my heart swell many times during the day. First, out of the blue, she shows me the drawing on the left. It's her first drawing of people she's ever done (that I know of). And she's been practicing writing her name and she did a beautiful job of it on this picture. Lauren (age 3) told me that this picture was for Gigi (her great-grandmother, recently widowed) and that Gigi was the one on the left (the egg-head) and Lauren was the person on the right (with hair). I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture so much! I love the fact that the people have no bodies or arms whatsoever. I love that they are smiling. I love the sweet intention behind the drawing - to send it to Gigi so she would be happy (it's going in the mail today). Seeing this picture just made me want to scoop up my daughter and hug her tight (which I did).

Next up in our day: Gymnastics class. Now that I work at the YMCA I've gotten to know a few people. One of them is the instructor for the "real" gymnastics class, not the preschool version. The one for kids ages 5-7. Lauren has outgrown the Kids Gym class already and is ready for a bigger challenge. So I talked to the teacher about her and she agreed to green-light Lauren into the class as long as I thought she could keep up and listen. So I enrolled both her and Nicholas into the class and yesterday was the first day.

In a word, Lauren kicked ass.

She was by far the smallest person in the room. She was tiny in a room full of much bigger 7 year olds, all leggy and lean. Lauren still has traces of baby on her compact, round little body. Quite a mis-match. Nicholas was one of 2 boys, the other being young at 4 yrs old and completely distracting in his inability to follow directions and pay attention. But Lauren? Rocked it. She stayed in line. She spider-walked/crab-walked like a champ and didn't let the fact that she was the slowest one across the mat deter her (she was determined to keep her butt off the ground!) She did sommersaults across the room like she was born doing them. She did supported back walkovers, landing on her feet, like a pro. When the teacher separated the kids into 1's and 2's, she remembered her number and only went when she was supposed to. She was all about hopping across the mat with her feet together and toes pointed. All the while giving me shy looks of pride, a little smile playing on her lips, seeking my mirroring approval. And sometimes she'd give me discreet little "thumbs up" signs as well.

At one point the teacher had the kids make a human tunnel by standing with your feet on the ground and then bending over and putting your hands on the ground, too. Then one kid would wriggle through the tunnel, stand up on the other side and add themselves to the tunnel so the kid on the far end could take their turn going through. It was hard for the bigger kids to get under Lauren, her being so much smaller than the rest, but I'll be damned if Lauren didn't hold herself in that inverted position for as long as it took until her turn to wriggle though. That's a lot of arm strength, when you think about it. My heart was swelling with pride watching her in this class.

Nicholas did great, too, but he's older and bigger and fit in better. It was Lauren is was worried about, being so young, but she put my fears to rest. And best of all, she kept her good humor throughout the class, smiling and telling other kids, "good job!" as they'd finish whatever they were doing. Nicholas turned everything into a race - who could get across the mat the fastest - even if it wasn't a race (it never was), so he would occasionally get pouty. But not Lauren. Lauren was cheerful and happy the whole time. It's her demeanor and charm that makes her such a likeable kid.

I love her so much!

Aaawwwwww. I love the picture and loved the post.
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