She leaves a lasting impression on their lives in that short amount of time like she has done with me on a nearly daily basis the past five years. I could not be happier and prouder.
The fifth year of a person’s life seems to be a big turning point. More independent, able to make better choices, and a young personality starts to really shine through. The base of a personality always seems to be there from a very young age when they first start to learn to laugh and discover what interests them. At five, that base becomes stronger and things start to become more clear.
Seeing that transition from a not-quite-sure kindergartener to a determined-and-confident grade 1 student has been interesting. Instead of the unraveling of an onion to discover who a person is on the inside, you see the onion start to form. How they learn to tell stories to hide truths or exaggerate truths or falsehoods, and you’re left wondering, “What is true?” Most of the time, these stories are not as nefarious as adults would spin to extract a certain emotion or favour from a person. She is telling jokes, but every now and then, you catch her trying to cover up her tracks, which is generally to my amusement.
Kylie’s playfulness and innocence is something I have thoroughly enjoyed this past year. Gone are the endless “Why” questions, which always seemed to be a way to get more information without being too specific about it, and now replaced with genuine curiousity. Asking questions about the animals that have crossed our paths on our hikes, questions about consequences for people’s actions and choices (like people smoking or breaking the rules), to slightly deeper questions that catch me off guard. An example from this past month, “Was Santa Claus ever a boy?”
I wrote about the choice to put Kylie into French immersion last year, and this year it is really paying off. Her interest in the language is much greater than it was last year, aided by her mastery of reading English. Reading French is more of a fun challenge than a chore for her. She willingly chooses to do her daily readings for school, and, more often than not, picks up a French book for us to read at night instead of an English one. She practices the language often when at home with me, asking questions or saying what something is in French. When she comes across some people speaking French in public, she will pause and smile at them, but doesn’t have the confidence yet to even say, “Bonjour.” By the time I write this next year, I am sure she will be wanting to converse with these strangers in her non-native tongue.
While French is still her second language, her mastery of English is becoming rather scary. If she sees words somewhere, she’s reading it. It doesn’t matter if is a minor sign saying the hours of a business, or a major one like the strata rules for our outdoor pool, she wants to read it all. This is only a nuisance if we happen to be in a rush for something, otherwise, I am more than content to let her read and learn more words. The problem arises when she is starting to master spelling and typing to go along with her reading skills. She has quickly learned how to type messages to family and friends on my iPhone, and has also managed to post selfies with a message to Facebook without me being aware.
The last part is a little frightening. She has learned how to hold the phone away from her, get the right angle, and get the perfect smile. Her love of the camera is quite the opposite of what I was like at her age. I bring the phone out to take a picture, and her face turns into a smile almost instantly now. It’s quite the joy to see and has some comedic effects in moments.
Needless to say, it has been a fun year of exploring the city and learning more about who this little girl is becoming. Hiking down to Paul’s Tomb, biweekly walks through downtown Kelowna, down Mission Creek or to Hardy Falls, and a short trip to Vancouver has kept us busy this year. Next year will bring as many adventures as this one, and perhaps a few more road trips with me or her mother. As always, I am greatly curious to see where 2016 takes my little girl as she gets closer to becoming a pre-teen.
Happy 6th birthday, to my sweet daughter.
Kylie’s Favourites 2015:
Song: Sean Mendes – ‘Stitches’
Show: Peppa Pig
Book: Nate the Great
iOS game: My PlayHome
Plus, fun with Friends Lego