Yesterday, my sweet, sassy, spitfire Gracie graduated from preschool! WHAT?!?!
We are so very proud of her and all she has learned this past year. She had the same preschool teacher as Bean and we could not have been more pleased.
Gracie can write her name (and anything else, if you spell it for her), write uppercase and lowercase letters, knows numbers up to 200, can sound out words, can read the Step One beginning reader books, and can even tie her shoes. She knows all about China and New York and Florida. She knows how to match and sort and group. She knows her colors, knows her colors blends, and knows the order of the rainbow (ROY G. BIV, anyone?). She knows about water in three forms, about how the rain is made, and how to take care of flowers. She knows how to add small numbers under ten and who the first president of the United States was. She knows her address, her city, her state, her country, her president, and what fingernails are made out of (ew!).
But more than simply learning facts and information, Gracie has grown so much as a person over the past year. She knows how to act like a friend and she knows what to do if someone is mean to her. She knows where babies come from (God puts them in mommy tummies) and where we go when we die (God takes us to Heaven to live with him in his big house). She knows that gum gets stuck in your hair and that coloring belongs on paper, not the walls. She knows about forgiveness, when to ask for it and how to give it. She knows she is surrounded by people who love her unconditionally. And she knows that there’s nothing better to share than a good laugh.
(Here’s the unedited family picture… Bean is killing me these days…)
Last weekend, we threw Gracie’s preschool class a huge graduation party. It was fun to see her in action with all of her friends, right in her own house. She loved showing them her room and she especially loved having all of them in her pool! (“You’re not allowed to pee in the pool!” she kept reminding her friends.)
I took a few moments to take in the scene throughout the afternoon, and I said some silent prayers of thanks for all these people in Gracie’s life who directly and indirectly shape her into the person she is becoming. It takes a village to raise a child, and I could not be more grateful for the village that surrounds both my children.
It’s been hard for me to hear God’s voice lately. I think it’s the ending of school and the business of this time of year that has given me a case of “selective spiritual hearing.” But as I looked around our backyard full of friends this past weekend and as I watched Gracie walk proudly across her little graduation stage last night, I heard God’s message in my heart loud and crystal clear.
“For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
The journey to where my family is right now has not been easy or without its significant setbacks and losses in the past six years. But His plans are perfect, and with each new day, I see our family prospering, hopeful, and looking forward to the future.
And all God’s people said, “Amen.”