Every year before their Thanksgiving Feast, the second grade class reads a book called Knots On A Counting Rope by Bill Martin and John Archembault. The book is about a Native American boy who requests his favorite story from his grandfather --- the story of the special night when the boy came into the world. Though born blind, the boy learns many ways to see without needing his eyes. Each time the Grandfather tells the boy's tale, he adds another knot to the counting rope. Once the rope is full, the boy will know the wonderful story by heart and will be able to tell it himself.
After the children have heard the story, the parents are invited to the class to tell a story of their child. Here is my humorous and sentimental story of Arielle.
|Photo by Ken Rada|
When Arielle was born, we knew we had our hands full. She was the child that made me wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, “I’m the mom, I can do this!” It was a few years later that I truly understood the problem – she was really a teenager, trapped inside a baby’s body.
As a baby and toddler, she quickly learned to speak her mind. At nine months, she spoke one of her first words, “Apple Juice,” and just a few months later, as I was dropping her off at the church nursery, she spoke her first sentence, “No play!” At 18 months, she demonstrated her keen intelligence at lunch one day. While she was busy coloring, I placed her lunch on the table, which included a slice of rolled up turkey. She took the turkey and began to color on it with a marker. “No, No,” I said, “We color on the paper, not the turkey. “ Determined to show me that she was capable of doing the exact opposite of what I said, she promptly rolled up the piece of paper, shoved it in her mouth and ate it! Before she was two, she was speaking clearly. One day, when she was feeling exceptionally upset with me, she looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m going to hurt you badly!” At this point, I looked at my sweet little girl and thought, “I am so proud of her. She used proper grammar!”
A defining moment, however, happened around age two. Always trying to keep up with her older sister, Arielle potty-trained very early. One day, when the bathroom was in use, she used her resourcefulness and, instead, entered the door adjacent to the bathroom - the hall closet. It was there that she pulled down her pants and went potty right on top of my paperback copy of Dobson’s The Strong-Willed Child!
Most people think that Arielle was named after the Little Mermaid, but she was not. Arielle was named after God’s special name for his cherished land of Jerusalem. Her name means “Lioness of God.” Brave, courageous and elegant, Arielle is an individual who shows the strength and the courage to stand up for what she believes. Her middle name, Evangeline, comes from her Grandmother and means “Bearer of Good News!” As Arielle has grown and matured, her gifts have developed. She is kind, compassionate, artistic, determined, industrious, loyal, resourceful and wise. We are so proud to have a daughter like Arielle.