Beautiful Lyddie who is close enough to resembling a young woman these days that I get glimpses of the stunning woman she is becoming. Funny, witty, so so smart and curious, she loves to explore the world around her, focusing on the external things and how they work and how they relate to her. The way her eyes light up with wonder at the most interesting things: the way a hermit crab hatches just the size of a pencil dot, the fact that Magellan's crew sailed around the entire world and how she traced the route on the globe three times with her finger to make sure she really understood the enormity of that feat. She does everything fast, wanting to move through life at a clip and I try to breathe deep and let her fly on through, feeling, touching, tasting, experiencing everything before her. Am I ever spreading a wide enough feast of learning for this one who is finished with everything before I've hardly begun? I aim to teach her to slow her pace just a little at times, to really take everything in, which is just one of the thousands of reasons I am thankful for the thoughts Charlotte Mason put forward about really going slowly enough through the Things of education that they can be savored and digested and incorporated into one's own self. She gets so frustrated by the limitations that have been historically placed on women as we do our work of learning together, that I just cheer her on to press into the freedom she has as a girl made unique and beautiful and strong in His image. Oh how I am proud of her strength!
Precious artistic amazing Millie, who, with her toothless grin lights up my life with new understanding and appreciation. She and I are so different, about as opposite as her daddy and I are, but I hope maybe we share a closeness made possible by those differences. All she does has a touch of grace to it, whether it is dancing, handwriting, reciting poetry, telling jokes, swinging on the tire swing, or wrapping her arms around my neck in an embrace. She is a contradiction: soft and delicate and easily bruised but also hard as flint and stubborn as a boulder. How can this be? I wonder and watch and learn from her how to see the world in new ways. She needs quiet spaces and moments, and I am learning that she needs time to think her thoughts before she is ready to share them; another difference between us, since I am more like her big sister who talks her thoughts as she thinks them. Today she made up her mind that she wants to become a professional ballerina and her life goal at the moment is to someday get the part of Clara in The Nutcracker. If anyone can set her mind to this thing and achieve it, it is definitely my Millie, and I am her biggest cheerleader as she chassés her way there.
(Posing! This made me laugh out loud; it's SO Rosie!!)
(the first year Rosie has had a real stack in our back-to-school reveal celebration!)
Cuddly imaginative laughing Rosie who makes my heart yearn for days past when she was truly my baby and who I couldn't delight in more than I currently do. Rosie is in kindergarten this year and, true to her personality, is ecstatic to finally be "doing school" like her sisters. Kindergarten here is very gentle: some reading lessons as she is interested, reading aloud beautiful books, and taking part in all the "riches" of the curriculum that we do, like drawing lessons, Spanish, gentle piano lessons, composer study, poetry, Scripture memory, etc. She declares that she wants to do reading lessons, but I can tell she is not yet ready to think of herself as A Reader. Indeed, I don't think she quite has made the connection that when she can read, a world of books will open to her. Her sisters both innately seemed to have this understanding by age four and were desperate to read for themselves, but Rosie is content to go at her own pace as long as she feels she is participating in the same things they are. I love this independence in her; she is content to play and entertain herself for long stretches of time if no one is available or interested in her chosen activity. She wakes early in the morning and comes to cuddle with me as I read through Scripture, climbing up and tucking herself under the throw blanket on my lap. She leans her head against my chest quietly as I continue to read. She now knows that if she chatters too much at this early hour, I will have to send her away because I truly need a few minutes of quiet waking time, so now she waits patiently until my eyes have actually opened all the way before she launches into telling me her unusual dreams and any other thought that flits through her mind. The growing up happening in our house has the tang of bittersweet to me, but Rosie's growing up is especially so, as she is my baby and possibly the last time I will get to experience these mothering joys and struggles. I have come to recognize that this is not a form of favoritism but a letting go in trust that the Lord has given and the Lord can take away and can give back again, and it is okay to grieve and rejoice at the same the passing of a season of life.
These are three of my chiefest earthly blessings.