For the first three years of her life, Heather went pretty much every week to a local Gymboree class. Not only did it give her a chance to interact with other kids on a regular basis, it was also great for her physical development, especially her climbing ability (although we’re still cursing that for the time we found her on top of the changing table – those drawers have never been the same since).
In her last few months before starting nursery, she moved on from the physical/music classes at Gymboree, and into an art/craft class. Every week she came home with a different creation, and one of my favourites was a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer calendar, made from hand and foot prints. In fact, I loved it so much I brought it into work and hung it on the wall next to my desk.
As 2012 was drawing to a close, it occurred to me that I should probably take the calendar down once it was no longer relevant, but I didn’t really want to – it’s nice to have a reminder of my wee family while I’m working away.
So I was thrilled to discover after her first day back at nursery that Heather had, in fact, made a 2013 calendar, again featuring her own handprints. It also has a lovely verse on it, which reads as follows:
Ten tiny fingers that always want to play,
That never stop exploring that wonder of today.
Ten tiny fingers that from the very start,
Will reach out for tomorrow yet always hold your heart.
It was interesting to compare the handprints, and see how much Heather’s hands have changed over the year. They’re bigger, obviously, but it’s much more noticeable in her fingers, which are much longer and thinner, than her palms which don’t seem to have grown that much.
Yesterday I made the changeover, and although I was a bit sad to see startled Rudolph come down, the new calendar looks every bit as good on the wall. It made me think of Homer Simpson in an episode of the Simpsons which has made Gemma cry on more than one occasion. It’s called “And Maggie Makes Three” and is the story of how Maggie joined the Simpson clan.
Homer has left the power plant to work in the bowling alley, but has to go back when Marge falls pregnant because the pay is better. At the end, Mr Burns puts up a plaque next to Homer’s desk, saying “Don’t forget, you’re her forever” but Homer covers it in pictures of Maggie until it reads “Do it for her”. I guess Heather’s calendar is my version of that plaque.
This time next year, of course, Heather will be at primary school. Hopefully they make calendars too! Or maybe Megan will be able to make me one? Either way, this is becoming a bit of a tradition, and I don’t want it to end.
I had a look on YouTube for the final scene of that Simpsons episode, but could only find it in Spanish. Even though I can’t understand a word, I think the meaning still comes across…