In Their Element

The past two months have been full of transitions. Riley started kindergarten and adjusted to all of the changes that came with it. Maddie adjusted to Riley’s adjustments and then adjusted to her own transition as she moved up to ABC Academy, the preschool building of her daycare. I am happy to say that after our long period of transition, the girls have spent the last month in their element.




Riley, an active girl who finds it almost impossible to sit still at the dinner table, has blossomed into an avid academic. During her parent-teacher conference this week, her teacher shared that she is above where she would expect her to be in both reading and math. It was a proud moment but not a huge surprise. Learning has become her lifestyle. She has designated for herself a morning and a night kindergarten workbook that she takes very seriously. While Maddie relaxes after school to a TV show, Riley joins me in the kitchen furiously working on her workbook while I make dinner. Each morning, she fills out her reading log with great pride and this past week read to Maddie and me a book for the first time. She and I both particularly enjoyed that new milestone reached.

Maddie, my bright-eyed girl who walks ever-so-slightly on the dark side of life, has relished the Halloween season. Last month, she announced with great enthusiasm her costume choice for the year: a pumpkin witch — a character that has been woven into every creative and spooky story she has told this month. Her image even graces Maddie’s jack-o-lantern this year. Aside from the scary tales of this twisted pumpkin character, Maddie has discovered several movies with main characters that have the same dark draw. Her new favorite movies now include The Nightmare Before Christmas and Maleficent (thanks, Lesley). Halloween, with all of the decorations, costumes, and shows, has colored the world in a slightly darker light, and Maddie has soaked up every minute of it.

Being sisters, they have also taken interest in each other’s interests, even if it is mostly competitive. Riley has become a bit braver, making it all the way through the scary movies and only covering her eyes a few times, and Maddie practices “reading” her own books. Of course, Maddie tries her best to make things too scary for Riley and Riley points out the many mistakes Maddie makes in her reading. Sigh. Their interests could not be more different, but it certainly has been fun watching them find their element.