Alison is becoming more and more independent. It's one of those things about her that I hate and love with equal passion.
OK. That's a lie. I hate to see her growing up. Hate. It. Every stinkin' day it seems like she's moving closer to the day she'll really be all grown up. I remember back when she was really little and she was just learning a new trick.
"I can DO it by MYSELF!" she would insist whether it was gluing a decoration on a homemade Christmas card, cutting out cookies, or putting together an ensemble of mismatched socks, underneath wildly patterned tights, a striped shirt and a flowered dress.
This weekend it was putting together the CKS 4A Class goody bags for the Christmas party on Friday. "Mom, I'd like to put the bags together myself," she said. "I mean, alone. By myself."
In years past, she and I have sat on the floor together, sometimes with other little friends, surrounded by stickers and glue, beads, markers, paint, construction paper and ribbons. We've made holiday cards and crafts for friends and family and treats for classmates from day care through third grade.
We'd make a huge mess and find bits of paper and paint in our hair, but it was fun. Not being especially gifted in the crafting skills, I've always been happy to team up, hoping my deficiencies could be attributed to her burgeoning fine and gross motor skills.
We've made some pretty horrendous crafts over the years. The Christ the King Secret Santa Shop pretty much put the kaibash on our gift-making. Jeff and I provide the cash, but se selects, buys and wraps the gifts at school.
I've made my peace with that. (It helps that she always blabs about what each gift but mine is.) I did think we'd always have joint assemblage duty.
But I swallowed hard, nodded, handed over the bag of supplies and walked away.
Oh my gosh. You should have seen her work. She did everything but put on a manager's hat and whip out a clipboard. She got the school handbook out and made a list of her 20 classmates so she wouldn't inadvertently leave someone out. She organized the goodies with all the precision of a surgical nurse setting out instruments. She tailored each bag to each student, and she double checked to be sure everyone was treated equally.
"These are some extras we can just donate to the class," she said, pointing to erasers and pencils. She had different plans for the extra candy. I reminded her of the Advent pledge she'd written on a test this week. "I will pray for the misfourtonet (sic) every day. I will also stop eating so much candy."
"Oh. If I did write that -- and I'm not saying I did -- then Mrs. Zinkan must have made me," she said. "I'm pretty sure she made me."
I made her wait for lunch before she got to devour the leftover Peeps. Chances are that had we been a team, she might have been able to nibble throughout. Hmmmm. There's a thought...