Due to lots of snow and schools being closed because of lots of snow, I’ve been working from home for the last 2 days. I grabbed an old note-book from a cupboard to use as scrap paper. When I opened it, I saw that very neatly written in the book were words like He, Like, Are, From, Had, Down, See, Who, Run and The. I remember very clearly when I wrote those words. They were for Ace. He had just started kindergarten and was learning how to read. Some of the words had asterisks beside them. *Where, *Chair and *What for example. Those were the ones he was having a particularly difficult time learning. It really feels like only yesterday that we were practicing those words – but it can’t be – because he is now able to read entire chapter books on his own. Now he breezes through words like environment and dinosaur and escalate. I can’t remember the last time he asked me to help him sound out a word.
I spend a lot of time marveling at Jay’s progress. Jay is reading and writing simple words and he’s talking a lot and that all deserves celebrating and praising. But the truth is, Ace’s progress is just as astounding. Really, all kids learn so much and so fast. As parents we are so busy getting through each day and focusing on the next thing in front of us that we don’t often stop and look back at the little babies that we fed with bottles and that we swaddled. This creature, my Ace, who is somewhat small for his age and who I worried about being able to keep up because he’s the youngest in his class and who still likes to watch TV shows that are intended for children much younger than his 7 years, is excelling in school. Just last week I picked up his 2nd quarter report card and he got B+’s for reading and writing and A’s in everything else.
I have a keepsake box which holds treasures such as report cards and hand-made cards and popsicle stick gingerbread men. This notebook with words written in it, is not something I would have thought to keep but I am so glad I found it and was able to reflect on just how much my Ace has learned. I don’t want to under appreciate it just because he has a different set of strengths and challenges from his brother.
P.S. Ace came to ask me a question while I was working and when he saw the words in the book he asked me why they were there. I told him that I used to help him to learn those words to which he responded incredulously with “What? But those words are sooooo eeeaassssyyyyyy”. He loved hearing the stories about a time when they weren’t so easy for him.