Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miss 10 Plus 1

Yesterday my little Miss 10 aged up another year, so we now have Miss 11 at our house. Unfortunately she wasn't feeling 100%, so her day was pretty laid back, but fortunately she had the day off of school, so she was able to relax and take it easy. She was still spoiled and hugged and kissed and spoiled some more, so it worked out ok.

I've learned more from Miss 11 this year. Last year I posted all the things about her that were special and were learning experiences, and this year I learned even more from her.

I've learned that her abilities and accomplishments can shock me even when I thought I was prepared for them. I'm not a big believer in standardized testing, in fact I'd consider myself someone who has a loathing for standardized tests. (but that is for another post) However, Miss 11 has always, always scored below grade level in the reading portion of such tests. I know they were pretty accurate because I read with her a lot, and I saw the mistakes she made, and she didn't read up to grade level. We worked very hard to change that. This year, on her tests, she scored well above her grade level on the reading portion, and I wasn't surprised. Her reading abilities this year soared! She went from reading easy Disney Fairies books to reading eighth grade reading level books that our middle school classes read for English class, in one year! She is so proud of herself, and I can't ask for more than that.

Emotionally this year was also a big step. Although I knew they wouldn't end completely, the stomping, tantrums and crying rages, have diminished to such an extent that I can predict them, and sometimes avert them completely. They were few and far between this year, and it's because Miss 11 is finally learning to control her emotions.

Miss 11's anxiety, while not gone, has made big strides this year. Although she still gets very nervous, for nearly everything it sometimes seems, she is more willing to take that step and move ahead despite the nerves. This Sunday Miss 15 and her (male) friend decided they would take Miss 11 to the Hannah Montana movie as a birthday gift. Miss 11 was very nervous about it, in fact she said no at first. Even the day of, as she walked out the door, she gave me "the look" that says, "geez I'm not sure I can handle this." I gave her an extra hug, a squeeze of her shoulder and told her she would have fun, and she stepped out the door to do something she wasn't comfortable doing. A few years back she would have refused, ran back in the door and went to her room. She had fun, and she was brave.

Miss 11, you are an amazing child. You have taught us all patience, you have given us laughter and love without reservation. You know when I need a hug and you give them freely. Out of all three of my children you seem to be most tuned in to my emotions, you know when I'm upset, or happy, or sad, and you always ask what's wrong or make a silly joke to bring me up. You love your siblings beyond belief even though you never show them that. I know that at school when you add your intentions during morning prayer, that you always pray for Miss 15 and Mr 19. (your teacher ratted on you!) Wrestling with your dad is your adrenaline rush for the day, and though he doesn't tell you, he looks forward to every morning when you knock him over and wrestle before school starts. He knows that you show him how much you love him by picking on him, and you must love him a lot! Your generosity is above your years, gifts, letters, notes, and pictures are given to all those who touch your life. You are a light to all of us.
Happy Birthday, Miss 11! May this year be full of even more amazing milestones.

Edited to add: Today I found out that Miss 11 volunteered to serve as an altar server for a funeral mass. This is another of those big steps she's taken this year. One more notch on her belt in her quest for doing things that make her nervous. When I asked how it went she said, "good, only 3 or 4 people cried."


Alyssa Noel said...

"Miss 15 and her (male) friend"

Oh mother,

DeeAnn said...

Wonderful Post about a wonderful (no longer little) girl! Happy Birthday Miss 11!!