Friday, August 29, 2008

Dear old golden rule days

After the usual summer scramble to keep the kids occupied in camps, daycare, or at home, both are now back in school. Archer is completing his second week of school (and has filled all the squares in his homemade two-week chart with the number of good as golds received). Cady Gray started this past Tuesday; she's going to the preschool affiliated with my university's early childhood education degree program, and she's attending full time, all day five days a week.

Neither of our kids have ever suffered from trepidation going to school. We've managed to convince them that they're going to love it, and then they just do. I'm so glad Cady Gray is going full time this year, because she needs those social skills and comfort with routine to go along with the academics she already has. (Two nights ago she read to me the entirety of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything -- which is securely at her reading level -- and on the way to school this morning she figured out 12+29.)

Next year she'll be going to kindergarten, just slipping past the new birth date requirements by the skin of her teeth, and because she shares her brother's precociousness but not his social impairments, I wish I could skip right there so that she'll start being challenged that much sooner. (In terms of what I've seen of the curriculum in Archer's classes, and in terms of Cady Gray's current writing, spelling, reading, and math skills, it would take some of his second-grade sentence writing and story comprehension assignments to stretch her.)

But I know that this year will be an education in the nature of school -- in sitting still, working together, taking turns, all those skills that can only be honed by practice. I don't want to look past all the moments of discovery she can have in that setting by being too eager to move on to the big leagues.

On the first day ...

We walked to school together.

She put her things in her cubby.

The jungle gym proved immediately irresistible.

But don't send me off without a smile and a goodbye kiss, sweetie.


the secret knitter said...

Very cute. Sounds like she'll be a star in kindergarten next year.

Adam Villani said...

Just wondering... you probably covered this some time ago, but where'd you get the name "Cady Gray?" I understand it's a Southern thing to use both the first and middle names, but where'd they come from?

Anonymous said...

"Cady" comes Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a women's rights advocate that I'm related to on my mother's side; "Gray" comes from Donna's mother's maiden name. Like "Archer," it was a name we talked about well before we had kids, though at the time we'd thought that we'd name her "Cady Gray Murray" and call her "Gray." My sister-in-law, who's worked in the school system for years, pointed out that if we wanted people to call her "Gray," we'd better make that her first name, which we didn't want to do. Instead, before she was even born, we noticed how Donna's mom referred to the baby-to-be as "Cady Gray" (not wanting to leave out the part of the name that belonged to her) and we liked how that sounded. Very old school southern. (As it happens, she gets called just "Cady" a lot in school situations, and we don't really make a big deal about it, though everything she brings with her is labeled with her correct name, and eventually teachers seem to get it.)