The best part about being Eight.5 for Clementine is that she has finished up what has been a really challenging school year. I’ve alluded to it before, but her favorite teacher (who adored her) left and the teacher she was left with was extremely challenging for a bunch of reasons – to all of the kids. In fact, there are 7 classmates of Clem’s that are not coming back to our school next year (including many of her besties such as Charlie, Micah, Stella and Kosmo)! But for whatever reason, Clementine got the brunt of her teacher’s frustrations. I won’t go into the details here, but the situation was so bad that other parents noticed, and Clem came home many days absolutely crushed. There was only so much we could do, fighting a brand new Principal and Assistant Principal in a situation where they were in over their heads – although with much pushing they allowed her to spend half her days in 3rdgrade due to her advanced academics.
But here’s the thing: through all of it, Clementine never told us she didn’t want to go to school, always worked her hardest (her report card was perfect), and kept her head up, counting down the days and making the most of what she could control (and loving her time spent in the grade above). It was heartbreaking and inspiring and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of her. We spoke about the characteristics that were getting her through – perseverance and grit, which would come in even handier in life than the big brain she was gifted with. We talked about the fact that there would be challenging situations and people in her future (there always are) and she was lucky to learn how to deal with those situations at such a young age. And we showered her with love and extracurricular fun and a wonderful therapist… and the combination seems to have worked out fine.In fact, this past month was more than fine on the extracurricular front! Clementine passed into Intermediate ice skating (and is still loving every minute of it) and did a fantastic job singing, dancing and acting her way through her theatrical debut as Jane in Mary Poppins! She was so adorable to watch – the youngest one on stage – feeding lines and stage cues to the bigger kids who weren’t as on top of it as she was.
And now she is so excited for a fun summer full of her favorite camps – ice skating, tinkering, horseback riding, “wet and wild” (where they go to a different waterpark each day) and her first stint at overnight camp! Three months of so much fun, with the added bonus (for both of us) that I won’t be working and can spend more time with her between all of those activities. We’ve already snuck a little bit of extra time (this is my last week of work) putting together puzzles and playing Boggle and laying together reading and chatting and singing, and I am soaking up every single second of this special time with this special girl. She is an absolute gift.