|Kindergarten Photo 2010 *Age 5 1/2|
For the past five years, I've been working in the Early Childhood Education field, actually as I write this, I realize that yesterday was my 5 year anniversary at work. As Maiya grew from infant to toddler to preschooler, I've followed the development of her learning as I learned about child development through my work at LTSC and developed my own philosophy of the kind of parenting I wanted to practice. The term "school-age children" was always something that was beyond me and my knowledge. I didn't need to know it for work (other than generally), and I wasn't there yet at home.
But all of a sudden, Maiya has started Kindergarten. So we have been adjusting to things like homework, adjusting to 3 separate programs, including morning program and after school program, getting there on time and beating the gates as they close, learning how to read, write, speak, understand and pronounce Japanese, going through the 10 step program to become a parent volunteer in the classroom AND the school, starting Nihon Buyo dance class, starting JA basketball, and meeting new classmates, teammates and their parents.
There's a lot going on for this little girl and while she's doing well in school and is enjoying Japanese, new friends and homework, her emotions have been pretty intense and a challenge. For me, a big change is that I am now driving in to work alone. After carpooling with Maiya for 5 years into Little Tokyo, our radius has now shifted, with most of Maiya's activities being centered west of where we have been, and both Tony and I working downtown. And while we were able to remain relatively active in the JA community and as activists with Maiya the baby, toddler and preschooler, I can definitely see why there aren't a lot of people our age (and younger) with children who are able to remain active in the community. It wasn't that hard when she was coming with me to Jtown every day, but now we have to make much more of an effort to stay active.
Well, now I think I'm rambling, and I don't know exactly what I'm saying here, but my baby is growing up, and things are changing.
Here's a life-size drawing of Maiya that we did
when she was 'Person of the Week' recently.