Saturday, September 14, 2013

Terrific Six

I was relating to a friend today how Rachel is such a joy to have how for the first few years of her life I wasn't sure if we would ever get along. Her infancy and toddler and preschool years were brutal but she's really mellowed out the past couple of years and is actually quite enjoyable to be with. Sometimes I'm still shocked when she comes home from school happy instead of throwing a three hour fit even though it's been about a year since that happened last.

Reading, I think, is her great escape. She often turns to books when she's upset or bored (so is never really bored anymore and never really gets upset). When she was younger she'd build towers or colour to deal with her boiling emotions, but even that wasn't foolproof because you can mess up a tower or drawing. You can't really mess up reading (at least not when you're reading to yourself in your head (reading aloud is a horse of different colour)).

Whatever the cause of her newfound control over her emotions, I'm so grateful for it. And I'm a little bit nervous for the teenage years.

Last night after we finished family scripture study, Rachel piped up and said, "I have a question. When I'm older, like fifteen...or thirteen...or seven...can I read The Book of Mormon by myself?"

"You don't have to wait until you're older!" I said. "You can start reading today if you'd like to!"

This was after she'd read an entire chapter aloud to us, at a very fluent pace and stumbling over very few words. She actually stopped after reading verse fifteen and said, "Okay, Dad, now you take a turn. My mouth is tired!"

"Oh, come on!" Andrew urged her. "There are only two verses left! You can do it!"

She finished and then said, "Can I get a drink before prayer? My mouth is so dry!"

"Now you know why I sometimes tell you that I can't read anymore," I empathized. "Reading aloud is tiring!"

Anyway, she got her drink of water and then asked if she could read The Book of Mormon on her own. It's a lofty goal, but a good goal. We went online and found a reading chart for her (she chose this one) and she picked a few pencil crayons out to keep with her scriptures so that she can mark her favourite verses.

We sent her to bed and she read and read and read.

She came out after a while and said, "Mom, is it really alright if I colour the scripture where Nephi says, 'I will go and do'? Because I think it's really important that I remember that verse."

I told her that was certainly alright.

She came out of her room at around 9:45, announcing that she had read five chapters.

"Can I write in my journal now?" she asked.

I told her that it was rather late but that she could, as long as she was quick. It's the weekend. And we're coming up on intercession so that means her sleep schedule will go out the window anyway since I'm a little bit of a pushover when it comes to bedtime.

This is what she wrote in her journal:

1'st Nephi

Liheh fled into the wildernis with...his wife Sara and...his 4 sons Lamen Lemual Sam and Nephi! For the grat citiy Jueloosiiim was going to be distoy'd!

That's a pretty good summary. And I love how many vowels she stuck in Jerusalem.

This morning she woke up and read two chapters in The Book of Mormon before she heard that Benjamin was awake. She went into his room with Miriam and read him stories before they turned on the keyboard and had a little dance party in there.

Our main activity today was our ward's annual pig pickin', which was a lot of fun (and quite tasty). When we got home the girls decided to decorate for Halloween. Rachel conned me into drawing a skeleton for her ("Mom! I'm going to make a craft! Will you just come over here and draw a skeleton for me?" I'm not sure how that constitutes 'her' making a craft, but whatever.)

She drew a face on the skeleton and taped it to our front door. Then she wrote a note from a witch that said, "If you enter this house you will never come out. Signed, The Witch!" and taped that to the door, too.

Miriam drew a pumpkin and labeled it "Not-A-Cat." She doesn't know how to spell pumpkin.

"What other Halloween decorations can we put up?" Rachel asked.

"Nothing right now," I said. "It's still a little too early to get ready for Halloween."

"Oh, that's okay!" Rachel said. "I'll just make some more snowflakes to decorate my room!"

Apparently we're getting ready for Christmas as well.

It's fun to have Rachel around when she's busy and self-sufficient and pleasant, even if she's a little too excited for the holiday season to begin. I love this little six-year-old.

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