My second born is turning 7 next week, and it seems that life is throwing some hard lessons at her at the moment. From some that can not be aired in a public place like this, to others like today when she learned that words can not be taken back, it seems she is growing up far too quickly.
Obviously, as the mother of this gorgeous girl, I’m quite biased in believing that she is one of the best kids on the planet, with beauty, brains and personality unrivalled by anyone apart from her siblings; I’m sure when it comes to your kids, you’re exactly the same. 🙂
But there is one thing that Bridie is really good at, and that is grammar. That kid can explain verbs, adjectives, nouns, pronouns and adverbs better than most adults. In fact I would not be stretching the truth when I admit that she did actually teach me something. (Yes, I know I’m technically an author. The irony of having my 6 year old explain the functions of the English language is not lost on me.)
To illustrate my point, last Tuesday, whilst conversing with my father, I used the words ‘positive with her’ in a sentence, to which Bridie asked if I wanted to know a positive verb. Not entirely sure if a verb had the ability to convey emotion or not, I questioned her to see if she could come up with a positive verb, to which she hastily replied, “laughing.”
That’s pretty darn positive in my book.
Now a show off for a mother, would say how she also came up with happily as a positive adverb, but I won’t do that. (Not again any way ;)), but the reason I bring all this up, is because her gift for all things grammatical has seen her labelled ‘The Grammar Queen,’ by her teacher. A badge of honour that Bridie has worn with a deserved pride.
You see the thing is, she is not a strong reader, or writer. She does ok, and has improved dramatically, but English isn’t her strong point. She gets numbers very quickly and easily; she’s a logical person so the rules of maths makes sense to her, but anything else takes extra work to learn it. So to be given such a commendation in an area that she is not naturally gifted in, is a huge deal for her.
Unfortunately, her teacher is leaving the school (and in fact the state), which is almost news enough for an emo post on it’s own! 😉 (On account of the fact that she actually gave me a school certificate the other day, so I feel like I’m 6 again and about to lose my favourite teacher.) Bridie, understandably was rather devastated, and on the day she received the news, she approached me in the kitchen and asked to talk.
“Mum, I’m a little bit worried about Mrs Grosser leaving,” she said.
“Is that because you don’t know who your new teacher will be?”
“No…. I’m just worried that if she goes, I won’t be the grammar queen anymore. Cause she was the one who called me that, and if she leaves, I won’t be it.”
My heart just about tore into pieces for my little girl. To finally have confidence in one area, and to think that might be taken away, is a devastating thing for anyone, particularly a six year old.
I got down on her level, and looked her in the eyes. “Sweetheart, you will always be the grammar queen. Mrs Grosser might have called you that, but she didn’t make you the grammar queen; you did that. By working hard and remembering all the words. And even if your new teacher never says that to you, it does not mean you aren’t good at it, because you are. No one will ever take that away from you.”
It got me thinking, how so often, even as adults, we build our self worth around what other people think or say of us. They can be positive or negative views, and depending on which one, the absence of that person can either confine us, or liberate us, when really, it should do neither. We are, who we are. Your words don’t change who I am, just as my thought’s about you, don’t change you. (Though I must say, you are looking stunning today! And that is of course, the truth :))
My dear little Bridie is having to learn that lesson now, at not quite seven. Which seems bitterly unfair, and yet wonderfully encouraging at the same time. Because if I can teach her that now? Imagine how free she will live her life, never being weighed down under the opinions or titles of the people around her. Learning to judge words based on their truth, because she begins to understand herself, and who she is.Because the fact of the matter is, whoever her teacher is, she is the Grammar Queen. And no one is taking that away from her.
Have you or your kids had to learn any hard lessons just lately?
Don’t you wish we could all just live free of the thoughts of others all the time?