|Harmony with her backpack, right before school|
Harmony is turning six today.
I can hardly believe it! Even though it sounds cliché, the time has gone by so fast. She was born one minute, celebrated her first birthday the next, and then a time-weighted snowball brought us to today. She celebrated two of the biggest milestones in a young person’s life: she started school and lost her two front teeth.
“Look Grandma,” she said, when I picked her up from her kindergarten classroom yesterday. “I got a smells good.” She extended her hand toward me and I bent down to sniff the back, where a colorless mark symbolized a good week of behavior and attendance.
“Yum!” Her wrist has the sweet smell of grapes, most likely a stamp that the teacher saved for cooperation incentive.
School is at the forefront of Harmony’s life now; September is not only her birthday month, it is her first full month of kindergarten. As we drove home, I asked her if she knew all of her sight words; I had seen the books she put together with words that kindergartners should memorize, rather than phonetically sound out.
“Those are called heart words, Grandma,” she said, matter-of-factly. “They are called heart words because we have to know them all by heart.”
I smiled. Heart words: what a beautiful concept.
When I think of Harmony, the words I connect to her sparkle and glitter, just like she does. They are words she has spoken to me ever since she was a baby. I remember the first time she called me GRANDMA, the first time she asked me for APPLE JUICE, the first time she said I LOVE YOU. As precious as she is to me, accepting this growth is a bittersweet reality of life. I can't keep her this age for any longer than I can my own daughter - who was just her age last week.
The other day I sang a song to her, an old lullaby that my own mother used to sing to me: Turn Around. It is a simple melody that always stuck with me, and Harmony liked it as well. She was, however, a little nonplussed about the lyrics.
"Why do you say 'Turn around and you're tiny, turn around and you're grown'?"
"I don't know," I shrugged. "That's just what adults say when their kids are growing so fast. It just means you are growing so fast that everytime we turn around you are bigger!"
She smiled. "I am growing, Grandma!"
"Yes, you are."
"And now I'm in school."
"Yes, you are!"
"Turn around and I'm in school!"
“Why are you so clever?” I asked her.
She thought awhile, and then answered: “I’m clever because I’m smart.”
This made me laugh, which made her laugh. We love laughing together and invent all kinds of ways to do it.
Harmony is among the richest blessings of my life; she is bright, fun, thoughtful, loving, tender and expressive. I love every moment I spend with her and do not take any of them for granted. For the rest of my life, I will be her Grandma. It is one of the most important roles of my life.
Happy Birthday, Harmony. I love you so much, my clever girl.
|Me and Harmony -2011|
To listen to the lullabye "Turn Around" click here
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