Thursday, December 9, 2010


Ava gave her first book report at school today.

That's impossible, right?

I can't believe how big she is. She practiced this morning at home using the box for our artificial tree as her lectern, and she stood up, smiled hugely, and said "Hi! My name is Ava and I'm here to share with you about the book 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett."

Then she read a bunch of note cards with the points of the story she wanted to remember to talk about.

My six year old. Was giving a speech with note cards.

This is all going too fast. Is that a gray hair I see on my head?

As she gave her report today, she told the story of Mary Lennox and her trip from India to Misselthwaite Manor. Nearing the end, she said:

"When Mary arrived, she learned life was very different than she thought it would be." Ava delivered. "But she made the best of things and brought a garden back to life and made new friends along the way."

Then she grinned and said thanks and packed up her things.

And I'm a huge dork, because in the midst of all the first and second graders and all the parents there to immortalize their kids' first book report, I almost teared up. Because really, it's a recipe for  pretty good life if you ask me.

I'm pretty sure life isn't what any of us expected. But making the best of it, doing something meaningful, and gaining new friends?

Sounds like a pretty great plan to me.

And I'm proud of my six year old for embracing it, for adapting to the sucky situation she's been put in, and coming out on top. She knows things haven't gone our way, and she's sad, and I know sometimes she wishes she had a life like other kids in her class. But she makes the best of things, pulls it together, and if first grade is any indication, she'll never have a problem making friends.

I guess those classical books really do have some good messages to impart, after all.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Ava got a 100% on her report. I'm a little proud.
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