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Tales of My Fourth Grade Something

posted Tuesday August 7th, 2012

I can’t believe Sophie’s in fourth grade.

Neither could the girl behind the counter at our bagel shop.

“It’s the first day of school,” I told her.

“Cool!” she told Sophie. “What grade are you in?”

“You tell her!” Sophie said. “Fourth,” I said.

“Really?” She peered over the counter to take a closer look.

“Really!” I said cheerfully.




Why would I lie?

This morning Sophie cuddled up against me in bed. Suddenly she pulled her thumb out of her mouth and yanked down the front of her nightgown. “My boobs are growing!” she said.

They aren’t — but they will be soon. Will she still be sucking her thumb then? I wondered as I rolled out of bed. Probably. In so many ways she’s still so young, frozen in time by that third 21st chromosome.

And yet I see the ice melting. Sophie requested gray for her first-day-of-school outfit instead of her usual purple, and a backpack with peace signs instead of a cartoon character. She brushed her own hair, although I had to tie the laces on her new gray sneakers. She insisted on swallowing her thyroid pill with water, just like a big girl, and even agreed to put on her glasses.

“Sophie, you look so professional!” Annabelle said when Sophie barged into her sister’s bedroom for a goodbye hug.

Sophie wilted a little bit when we got to school — yanked off the glasses, refused to take her thumb out of her mouth, even though we’d had a long talk about how fourth graders don’t suck their thumbs at school.

“I’m tired,” she said, leaning on me. I think she was nervous.

For once, I wasn’t. The bell rang and the kids disappeared into the school — Sophie dwarfed not only in size but so many other ways — and yet still, to me, the kid’s larger than life. Fourth grade will be a challenge, for sure. But I’m betting she’ll hold her own. She’s got a homeroom teacher named  Mrs. Wisehart and an aide named Mrs. Wright (great names, huh?) and in a departure from my usual expect-the-worst mantra, I’ve decided to look forward to a good year.

Fingers crossed.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome, fashion, public school, Uncategorized by Amysilverman

10 Responses to “Tales of My Fourth Grade Something”

  1. Mrs Wisehart and Mrs Wright sounds perfect for Miss WiseSoul Sophie. Thanks Amy for sharing your 4th grade something. Really!

  2. I follow you on IG “sealbark”. I didn’t realize our girls are the same age. Morgan is starting 4th grade in a few weeks and I could’ve written this exact same post. It made me a little teary eyed and I’m not sure why. Guess it just hits home. Just yesterday I noticed the first of puberty beginning in my girl and took me by surprise. Then I remembered that little girl with the finger always in her mouth isn’t do little anymore. She’s almost 10 and there are lots of big changes just around the corner for all of us.

  3. These eyeglass frames are very serious. And cute.

  4. I’m optimistic right there with you! Go Sophie!

  5. Awesome post! Here’s to a great school year!

  6. She looks so cute! And, although small, like a 4th grader!

  7. Heather — Good luck to Morgan! Sophie had a great first day; I’m sure she will, too. :)

  8. Fingers crossed! I hope Sophie has a great year; those names are a good sign. And – she looks fabulous in gray.

  9. Loved this post! My kids are going in to grades 12, 9 and 5 this year. I meet every new school year with a mixture of excitement, anxiety and sadness. Children grow and lives change. Sophie looks very lovely in her first day of school outfit. I have a feeling she’s going to be a great “fourth grader”.

  10. Oh my, so grown up looking and lovely of course. Mine’s in 6th grade, 6th! I’m downright resistant and we are in the midst of puberty.Sigh.
    She’s going to have a great year!

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