As we were getting ready the night before Sojo's assembly, she mentioned that they could wear something from their culture. I suggested her Old Navy tshirt with the American flag, and she suggested her Chinese dress. Seems like an ordinary request, but this is from the girl who has refused to wear any dress for almost three years. Her motto is "it's my body and my choice" which I wholeheartedly love, and I sincerely hope she clings to that motto forever.
But, she wanted the qi pao, and that was beautiful in that it is her heritage. Only problem is that the qi pao is a few years old, and it was tight. I cut the side to make it fit, and we pinned it on her the next morning. A last minute change for her was letting her hair down--another thing she very rarely does. I knew the day was special for her, but these added extras made it obvious that this was truly an important day for her.
The assembly itself was a huge hit, and I love that our focus at school is making them very kid-directed. Not to be overshadowed by her speech, she and a small group of friends made an entire Minecraft world that was akin to the true community of 2nd graders on stage. I had the chance to help them with this part of the show, and it was wildly creative. They made a community where everyone is welcome (the theme of the month was Cross Cultural Citizenship), and we made a movie of them traveling from landmark to landmark.
She knocked it out of the park with her speech. Her poise, her confidence, her reading fluency! I was completely in awe, but I am most days when I'm with her.