Lola, after a little bit of a panic attack before starting school, is happily navigating her bus situations and fully adjusting to being back at school. Her school, if I haven't mentioned it, is out in the woods, about 10-15 miles from town. There is one main building and then there are single-room cabins that host individual classrooms.
Last year, as the youngest class, the kindergartners were housed in the main building. Now, as a first-grader, Lola is in a cabin. And she loves it.
Lola had "Merida" hair today, thanks to my last-minute decision last night to try the spiral curlers again.
They're such cuties.
While Lola is thriving at school again, Millie adjusting to being a school kid herself.
She still asks every day, in her own little Millie way, if she can ride the bus -- and she's still crushed every time the answer is no.
But she seems to be doing well at preschool, which she attends three hours a day twice a week. She's making some friends and broadening her world, a little more every day.
She even earned her first-ever certificate last week!
I'm so proud of her. She perseveres. She pushes herself. She tries. She knows now that she's a little different. She has learned in the last month or so that not everyone knows sign language, so she's reluctant to use it when she meets someone new. But you should see her face, in that moment, when someone for the first time signs with her and Millie knows, she knows that she's with someone who "speaks" her language, who is at least willing to try. She beams. And she knows she's met a friend. And she has met so many new friends at school. including her teacher. She loves her teacher, we love her teacher.
Last week, I did something I swore I'd do all summer long, but never got around to it: I took Lola to the tennis courts.
She has played many times throughout her life, but always in the backyard, on the driveway, against the garage.
Friday night, after three months of thinking it would be so fun to do so, we went to the courts.
(This all started in mid-summer when Lola was being difficult one day and said she wanted to quit gymnastics. She knows she can do that at any point, at the conclusion of a current session, but that means, in our house at least, that she'd have to pick another sport. Either soccer, swimming, or perhaps tennis. Lola is still a bit timid [that's a polite way of saying she's scared sh!tless] of new people and faces so, to date, she's stuck with gymnastics. But I can tell she's growing more and more interested with the idea of tennis. Of course, that just might be my own wishful thinking...)
Anyhow, we went to the courts last week.
And Lola did great. Sure, she was swinging too hard from time to time and she got impatient listening to my too-many instructions. But her swing was good, with both the forehand and backhand, though the latter was a bit tougher to master.
I couldn't help but smile. Tennis courts were like a second home to me growing up. Still today, I could rattle off which courts near my house had backboards, which ones had the best surfaces, were most often the least busy.
And here was Lola, running around and laughing on the court, hitting each shot more cleanly than the last. Loving every minute of it, dancing after each one went in.
Ray and Millie came too, so we were all just out there, running around and playing together.
I had the cutest ballgirl ever.
Though, really, all she wanted to do was chase people around with the racket.
We had a great time -- and many laughs, the bulk of which came from conversations with my 6-year-old.
Lola: "Hey! Mom! Look at this! There's an 'M' on the bottom of my racket (at the butt of the handle)!"
Me: "That's actually a 'W.'"
Lola: "No, Mom, it's an M, look!"
Me: "No, Lola, it's a 'W' like for Wilson."
Lola: "No, like look at this, Mom, it's a red 'M'!"
Me, taking the racket from her hand and flipping it around: "Lola, it's a 'W,' like for Wilson."
I'm sounding it out now for her: "W- W- Wilson. Wilson, the company that makes the racket, it starts with 'W.'"
Lola, as the light finally goes on: "Oooooh OK. I see. I get it. That's cool. It's a red 'W.'"
Me: "Yes, very cool."
We go back to playing. Ten or fifteen minutes later, we start picking up balls again.
Lola comes running over to me, even more excited, "MOM! You have to look at this!"
She waves the racket, just inches from my face: "LOOK! The squares in the strings, they're white and red! And the red ones, they make a giant 'M'!"
I think her next racket will be a Head.
- Bethany :)