Last week my daughter finished fourth grade.
At the beginning of the year her teacher asked the students to make a time capsule from a cardboard cylinder and fill it with artifacts. Inside went a self-portrait; a hand print; names of favorite foods, movies and books; and a list of goals for the year ahead. She opened it on the last day of school, and this was what it said:
What I would like to learn this year:
2.More long division
What I would like to accomplish in school this year:
1. Math Field Day
2. Student Council
What I would like to accomplish at home this year:
1. Middle split
2. Back handspring
What I would like to do to become a better person:
1. Volunteer at the aquarium
I record these things here not for her, but for me. I had not one thing to do with anything on this list, and she did them all. I no longer know what pi is or does, and any handsprings I do are mere metaphors. I post it to remind myself that her life is her own, and to make space for it to grow in every direction. To trust her able hands, agile mind, limber legs and passionate heart. To delight in the scenery and to marvel at the change. To keep company with her – silent, loving, loyal company – and to leave her off my list.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
For an up-close view of what I mean, see what my friend Pixie saw in my patch of paradise. The photo credit is hers.