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Goodbye to Mother Goose

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I can’t believe October is over. I feel like I have whiplash from time passing the way it is. All of a sudden, this year is gone, and Peanut is almost one, and Little Miss is nearly 4.5. Everything is changing, and my heart is breaking and swelling with pride all at the same time.

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This morning, Little Miss woke up, and sat down at the table with one of her “I Can Read” books from her Mother Goose Time curriculum, and began reading it out loud. I am never sure if she has the story memorized, or guesses well, or if she actually is reading the words, so I brought out a white board, and we “played school.”

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School is always a game for her. She’s still bright eyed, and has yet to experience the joy of a math worksheet when she would rather be outside playing. I don’t feel the need to push her, at this point school is all fun and games and she doesn’t need to do any of it. She needs to enjoy being little. She needs to spend time with her Mama. She needs to color and play and imagine and explore.

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Today, she sat down with me, and read off the white board. She read “cat” and “pig” and “mom” and “dad” and I clapped my hands and laughed as she clapped for herself. She sat down in the closet with her “favorite book” an old copy of Huston Smith’s World Religions, a relic from my college days. She pulled out a pen and copied letters in the margins, writing M and O and H again and again and again.

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She took a big, fat, permanent marker… one of those gigantic sharpies you pick up at home depot to write on moving boxes, and she wrote her name right on her arm. E M M Y. “It spells ME!” I sighed, and scrubbed and scrubbed, but the mark remains.

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And she is so proud. Proud of her name, her new “tattooed” arm, and the letters on the page. Proud to be so smart, and so big. And I am proud too. Proud when I am not heartbroken that my baby isn’t a baby and all of a sudden she’s reading and writing and arguing and sneaking sharpie markers into her closet.

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She’s my wild girl, with the wild hair that is always a mess and full of knots, even when I make her comb it. She’s the running girl, and the creative girl, and the funny one who makes fart jokes with her brothers even when I groan.

She tells me she’s growing. “I’m a giant!” She stomps on her way to the table for lessons, and she stomps up the stairs for naptime. School is still fun for her. It’s all games and crafts and playtime. She waits for her box by the window, and runs to the FedEx truck when it pulls up. She sees the school bus and yells “that’s my school!” as she tries to pick it up and carry it in.

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Today is the first, which means a new box. I didn’t move quickly enough to open it, because it is Sunday, and it’s not a school day, and I am tired. Tired of work, tired of play, tired of cleaning and the chores. Tired of them growing so fast. So she grabbed a butter knife from the kitchen drawer, and opened it herself. The box goes riiiipppp and my heart breaks because she really could do it herself.

It breaks again, because this is the last box. The last time she’ll rip it open and jump up and down and tell me it’s time for Emmy School now. I won’t stop teaching, not at all. I have plenty of Mother Goose Time activities left in the closet from days where I was too tired to play. Things are changing in our home though. She’s so big, and it’s time to move on to the next phase. It’s time to bring out those math worksheets, and work on reading, and yes, play and imagine and explore.

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It’s time to say goodbye to Mother Goose.

I’ll write one more review, one more post to tell you how wonderful it is. I can’t put into words the joy and wonder and fun that comes in a yellow school bus box once a month. See Little Miss grow up with Mother Goose Time, and help me cheer her on as she takes her next steps. I’m not ready, but she is.

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