Often enough in recent times, Lily will excitedly sneak behind me, encircle her little arms around my back, covering my eyes with her cute hands to happily shout, “Happy Lily Surprise!”.
Yet, she has already succeeded over the the last 4 years to truly amaze and surprise me at how bright she really is.
Don’t get me wrong, Emma, my older daughter is also pretty smart for her age, but her younger sister is always been a bit quicker on the up take.
Maybe, it is because she idolizes and adores Emma wanting to always follow in her big sister’s footprints.
She is the younger sibling of Irish Twins that is constantly trying every which way to make the “Irish” in Irish Twin non-existent.
But even as far back as the early days, I surmised my younger baby was wise beyond her little years, when she began to call me, “Mama” at not quite a year old and by 13 months old, spoke her first phrase and was potty trained even before she turned 2.
I will never forget the night though that Lily spoke her first phrase as Kevin and I were sitting on our couch relaxing a bit after a long day.
We clearly heard a little unrecognizable voice coming from the other side of the room say, “I got it”.
Immediately, I turned to Kevin, quite taken by surprise asking, “That wasn’t Emma, right?”
Logically, we knew it wasn’t Emma’s voice, but still neither of us believed that Lily spoke that phrase as Emma although ahead of the curve for other milestones, was not as quick where her speech and vocabulary was concerned.
Again, as many would tell you, “No two children are alike” and definitely not with milestones, such as speech.
But still that evening, our toddler came waddling over with her barely walking legs clearly and loudly expressing what we only we could have imagined with the three word phrase once again, “I got it!” to validate with our own eyes what we did indeed hear
One of many, Happy Lily Surprises!
And from there, she just took off and we never knew what, Lily would say or do to surprise us next.
So much of my past blog articles have been dedicated to her surprisingly, silly, but brilliant antics, such as this.
Trust me, when I say this kid, even though born at the end of the year in November, can run circles around some of the kids her age that are born months earlier at the first part of the same calendar year.
So, when the topic of redshirting came up for Lily, it was never a question of doubt in my mind that she would enter kindergarten the year she should.
Yet, when people hear how late in the year she is born, they can’t help, but wonder.
For those unfamiliar with red shirting, it is essentially the act of holding back a kid, who by all means age-wise is ready for kindergarten, but for others reasons, such as emotional, intellectual or even for physical size are kept back from entering elementary school for an extra year.
The thought never even crossed my mind, as my girl is pretty much right where she should be for her grade level, if not above.
I am nevertheless familiar with the concept, as former teacher, but also because Lily’s birthday is seven days before the kindergarten cut-off for her school grade here in NY.
And yet as much as I was aware of the arguments on both side of the redshirting debate, I admit I didn’t realize how common it was nowadays until last year, when it was Emma’s turn to be registered for kindergarten.
So, for Emma, it was most definitely not a viable option here either to redshirt her.
But, still I clearly remember one of the parents in Emma’s pre-school class redshirting her son, because he was on the smaller and younger side.
Clearly, this is a personal choice though and would assume that on each side of the redshirting coin (those would have and those who haven’t) regrets might very well be more abundant then can even be imagined in the aftermath of this huge and momentous parental decision.
For Lily, though the decision was clearly made pretty early and through the years my prospective hasn’t wavered.
About a week ago, I was sitting with Emma, who was reading of her books to me. Lily slid in next to me on the other side and began to read the words on the pages. Not going to lie, I don’t home school and while I do read to her, I have not actively made her read to me.
So, imagine my surprise that, Lily was clearly reading the words on the Level 2 reading book.
Again, A Happy Lily Surprise indeed.
Even as recent, as this Monday, when Lily came out at pre-school dismissal after her evaluation (yes they test pre-school age children), were were told that she not only held her own and then some, but her teachers were blown away by the sheer volume of what she knew and was capable of for her age.
The Latest Lily Surprise, but sure many more will follow…
And for all of the above reasons and more, I will be a kindergarten mom again for the second year in a row this September as Lily was registered for Kindergarten over 2 weeks ago.
Bittersweet, for me, as this is the end of the baby and pre-school era, but excited for all the new, wonderful surprises and challenges to come Lily’s way in the upcoming school year.
Once again thank you to Lisa from The Golden Spoons for hosting the One Word Blog Challenge with this week’s word being, “Surprise”.
And for another “Surprise” announcement, I ecstatically accepted Lisa’s offer to help co-host this awesome and amazingly wonderful linkup weekly starting next week alongside Lisa and Marcia from Blogitudes on Wednesdays.
So, in the weeks to come, please feel free to join us. Again could not be happier as this linkup has given my writing a renewed sense of direction helping to grow, cultivate and bring my writing skills to new heights already.