Ever since Zoey turned 5 last month, I've been wanting to write an update about her so I can better remember what she is like at this age. First of all, I can't believe she is 5 years old now! Some days I feel like she is much older than that, and some days I feel like she was just a toddler. She was so excited for her birthday this year and had been anticipating "the day she becomes 5" for quite awhile (because some of her good friends from school were already 5 and she wanted to join them quickly :)
Our girl is confident, sensitive, considerate, and much likely an introvert. She gets shy sometimes, but she also likes connecting with other people and building relationships. According to her preschool teachers, Zoey is a leader and is the most easygoing kid who gets along with everyone. She is goofy, and has the best laugh in the world (sounds very much like her dad's.) She doesn't ask a lot of questions or too many "whys", but she's an observer and a thinker. She helps herself make sense of the world from observing and listening, and if she really can't figure out something on her own, she raises questions.
She is very independent and always has been. She is a private person. When she is upset, she likes to go into her room and cool down for a bit alone. She is very obedient, though with her getting older, she's got some occasional sass and attitude mixed in there. She likes to make us happy and her eyes get teary the instant she knows we are mad at her. She is a light sleeper, and with two younger siblings who still wake up crying at night sometimes, it doesn't help. I always feel so bad when I see those persistent dark circles under her eyes. She is creative and has great imagination. She loves drawing, coloring, crafting, and making things. She is very good with color mixing and matching. She loves learning and is interested in trying anything you introduce her to.
Sometimes, knowing that I have a 5 year old to raise and teach stresses me out. I mean, we have this precious gem in our hands and she is eager to learn and try anything. But what do we engage her with? With two other little ones at home, it hasn't been the easiest to focus on spending time with Zoey and doing things with her alone. But we do our best to be intentional about finding learning opportunities in our daily lives, and we give her lots of space and freedom to express her creativity and imagination. Despite what our culture here seems to promote, I am not in a rush to build her academic skills. It's not that I don't value or care about it (in fact it's the opposite) but to me, she has many many years ahead when she has to focus on her academics. And here, right now, is her chance to be a kid. Stress-free, worry-free.
Last week, I gave Zoey a couple hardcover blank notebooks, and I told her that if she wanted to, she could draw and write a book too. Her eye lit up at the idea and got started right away. Then she went and got her recent favorite book, How to Hide a Lion, and started imitating the pages she liked. This smart girl, I didn't even think about that! But I agree this is a great way to learn :) I was beyond amazed and so impressed with her work (talk about a biased mama). She already draws better than I do!