Ocean Currents - A school project by Remy Malone

I often wonder how my first born, my first baby is somehow seven years old. For years she grew too fast. I don't mean metaphorically, time slipping away, where did my baby go, I mean actually where the hell is my baby?! Rem was always at least 2 sizes ahead in clothing and floating around the 99th percentile for her height and weight. To put it into perspective, my middle wears this sweet pair of pink butterfly pyjamas at age 4 1/2 that her older sister wore before she was 2... Thankfully we've been in the same size now for a while. Seems the rapid fire growth spurts have slowed. My fridge and my pockets are happy. 

Thought she may not be gaining three inches a day anymore, she's still changing at a pace I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with. Her once round, baby soft features are becoming sharper. Cute little rolls and chubby elbow dimples have been replaced with long lean limbs that swing from monkey bars unassisted, and man can she run! 

She's only 7, she still needs me, but sometimes if feels as though I've been given the back seat. I'm not driving anymore, she is. I watch with bated breath as she makes new friends and forms strong, meaningful relationships with people outside of our home. I hug and kiss her at the front door and wave her off to school as she walks confidently down the street on her own. I listen and wonder how my baby knows all this stuff, all this really cool stuff she's learning at school! I mean, she came home and taught me about Mary Anning, the first female palaeontologist and that Amelia Earharts first plane was called the canary. I have watched her struggle to catch up to her peers with her reading then a few short months later watched her teachers eyes well with tears as she told me how proud she is at how far my girl has come and is now reading at her grade level. She's sweet and funny, kind and compassionate. She's got her fathers empathetic heart and her mothers creative soul.

Just when I think I'm caught up and I really and truly know how incredibly smart and amazing she is, she blows my mind. Last month Rem came bursting through the door, excitedly chattering at me about the school interest fair. They could enter anything they wanted and she wanted to enter an art piece. We talked about all the different things she could do and finally she decided she would create something beautiful out of garbage. We went to the shore to collect some bits and pieces which inevitably led to many questions and concerns from her little inquisitive mind. 

"How did it get here?"

"Why is there so much?"

"But why don't people put it in the garbage can like they're supposed to?"

So we went home and did some research. We watched video after video and learned about the different ways plastic finds it's way into the ocean and how it affects marine life. We learned about huge floating islands of plastic all around the world and about single use plastics and things we could do to help make a difference. With her sudden education in oceanic pollution, we started to look at thinks we had around the house that maybe weren't the best. She encouraged me, yes, my daughter, asked if we could use reusable juice containers or paper straws instead of juice boxes for school. So now we're going on a lunch box revamp shopping trip! 

To say I am proud and impressed by this forward thinking little human I am raising just doesn't seem enough. I am absolutely bursting with pride that she chose this project to present to her peers, to encourage the thought that maybe one person really can make a difference.  And of course, because I am who I am, I photographed and filmed the whole process so she can share her findings with anyone who cares to listen. 

We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Kirsten MaloneComment