Sunday, December 16, 2007

Proud Moments

I'm exceptionally proud of both Emily and Jon at the moment :-))

Emily's had an extremely busy three days. On Friday, having successfully fought off her lurgy, she and I went to our friend Jackie's for the day, complete with sheets of "stained glass" glue and paint mixture. Emily, Mei Lin and Jasmine made lovely pictures on acetate with them, cutting and fitting the pieces into wonderful snow scenes and angels. They also had a huge play while Jackie, George and I had a long, long chat. I'm very pleased and proud of Emily's dynamic with Jackie's two youngest girls. She's fitted into their sisterhood really well, really quickly and I love listening to the three of them chatting together. I think the relationship works so well because all three children treat each other as equals. Emily's the youngest by four years, but none of the three of them either boss the others around or is bossed around. They treat each other with a lot of respect - they talk to and listen to one another with genuine interest, they make sure that each of them has an equal say in what they're doing and they all really look forward to our Fridays. It's lovely!

Yesterday morning Emily and I baked, iced and decorated 50 Christmas gingerbread shapes for the karate Christmas party, as well as making sandwiches for it too. The gingerbread mixture was exceedingly yummy! We had four tray loads of these in the end!The party was a big success. Emily looked beautiful in her black and turquoise outfit and she was very poised and grown up looking, even while running around like a lunatic, lol. I was proud of her increased confidence, too, happily playing with the boys and even being asked by one of the other Mums to take care of her little girl who was scared of the bigger girls. Photo fest coming up! Keyboarding Christmas songs before we left to go out:Doing the balloon race with Jasmine:
Cheering on her team:
Enjoying party tea:
Playing yo-yo with little Giselle:
Getting into the spirit of a racing game:Getting ready to play pass the balloon:
Getting the giggles!

The highlight of the party was of course the visit by Father Christmas. Jon did an even more spectacular job than he did last year, happily chatting away to the kids one by one as they came up onto stage to collect a pressie, right from the tiniest tots to the teenagers, putting the little ones at ease and making the big ones crease up laughing, lol. He looked fantastic in his costume and certainly had the small-middling size kids thinking he was the real deal!! Emily and I were a very proud wife and daughter :-)) Unfortunately, most of my pictures of Jon came out blurry, including the one of Emily getting her pressie (damn!) but I did get some good video footage of him too. Here's a couple of pics, despite the blurriness.

This morning it was back to karate for Emily's karate grading. She passed with flying colours and is now officially a green belt :-))) George often gets Emily out to the front to demonstrate moves during the lessons, or puts her in charge of helping the younger ones. Together with a boy who's just about to move up to the next class, so he must be 11, she is officially the strongest kicker in the class too, and definitely the only one who has all the Japanese terminology off pat, as well as having already memorised katas way past her own official level. It's amazing how well she's doing, especially since at the moment we can only go once a week. Next year (not long now!!) Emily's starting kick boxing too, so that will be interesting.

As soon as she got back from karate, Miss Busy Bee had time to grab some lunch before it was time to go back out again to the final rehearsal for her yoga play performance. Dropped her off and mooched about waiting for Jon and my Dad to come and join me for the actual show at 4pm. We had tickets for my Mum too, but unfortunately she fell down some steps this morning and injured her back, so she didn't get to see it. Gramps filmed the whole thing, though, so that was good news!
Emily had been quite nervous about this performance, even though she's done several before - she had a much bigger part this year. The story was about four children (Emily being one of them) who had to travel to four different worlds to rescue parts of a magical snowflake otherwise Christmas would be ruined (sounds familiar to anyone who's read the flippin' rainbow fairies series, I bet!). As well as being in all the scenes where the four children were together, and having songs to do too, Emily was alone as the main part in the world her child had to journey to, Forest World, so she had a lot of lines and actions to remember. She did fantastically well, and we were extremely proud of her yet again :-))

So, Christmas is approaching fast, which means New Year is also approaching fast, which means our little girl is very nearly nine years old!! I was looking back over our blog the other day and it occurred to me that I've spent a lot of time writing about Emily's various problems at times: lack of confidence, friendship woes, "difficult" moments, arguments, rows. We're not the kind of parents who are blind to our daughter's problems and, yes, faults - nobody's perfect and I don't believe it's healthy (or good for the child) to wrongly believe your child is perfect either. Emily is, at times, extremely argumentative and defiant at home with us. She can be quite wilful and she certainly knows how to push our buttons, particularly mine. A bit of a handful at times. Outside the home, Emily is a very different child to the strong willed Emily we have at home. She is often over-compliant and much too easily led. Sometimes she still struggles with initiating conversations with people she doesn't know well even when she would clearly like to. She allows herself to be bossed around way, way too much. Her frustration at being bossed around sometimes spills over, and she doesn't yet quite have a handle on how to react to it appropriately without being sulky towards the other person. So she could do with learning some more positive assertion skills. Yes, Emily has some problems/issues/difficulties. Who, honestly, of her age doesn't?

But perhaps I don't write often enough about how astonishingly honoured we are to be Emily's parents. We are so blessed to have her. We couldn't possibly wish for a more special daughter, and we wouldn't for a moment wish her any different to how she is, problematic "bits" and all. She's amazing company, very creative, hugely imaginative, intelligent and thoughtful, warm, funny, quirky and "weird" in the very best way, kind, generous and so loving that I think her heart must surely burst at any moment - but then just when we think we can't possibly be any more proud, she does or says something else that makes us just want to shout our pride from the rooftops :-))))

Well, we're set for another busy week next week. Lots more Christmas things to do, plus another cinema trip. Romy and Hazel are coming to join us for some yule celebrations next Friday, and Maisie is coming for the day on Saturday. Tomorrow evening we're all three of us off to a late night Christmas party at Jackie's house. It's all go!


HelenHaricot said...

A lovely post. And she comes across as a lovely girl too.

Elle said...

Just like Helen said, it's a lovely post. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas time and all the best for 2008.

By the way, responding to your comment to me, the willow session was lead by a lady in our group who makes, sells and teaches the willow craft. She supplied us with the willow and showed us what to do. Making the stars was quite easy and Katie managed to do all but the very last bit by herself. Ben, being left handed, needed a little more help. Basically you start by making one triangle using secions of willow secured at each corner. Then tie two more lots of willow together and thread them through the first triangle in an over/under pattern before finishing securing a third piece to form another triangle. I've probably completely confused you now haven't I!?

Nikki said...

Thanks Helen and Elle. Great instructions, Elle - thank you. Think we could probably manage that, if only we had some willow!!