Okay, maybe that title is a little dramatic . . . but then, my year has been pretty dramatic. It all started with the first day of school, sending my baby off to Kindergarten. Man that was a really hard day. I sucked it up though and learned to really cherish the time alone, maybe a little too much because nowadays, the hours between 3 pm and bedtime are often some of the most exhausting of my day!
But I’m not here to whine. I’m here to tell you that sending the last one off to school is a wonderful thing. We have made the sacrifices and have been blessed for me to be able to be a SAHM, so this year there was much time for ME. I remember the big question I had at the beginning of the year was, “Who am I now?” Well, I can’t tell you that I discovered the answer because things got twist-turned-upside-down (get that reference?) at the end of September and instead of discovering all the wonderful things there were to discover about Julie post babies-turned-toddlers phase, I discovered a lot of things that needed changing in her. But the good thing was that I had the time to process through those things.
The other amazing thing that happened this year was that we got to watch our little man burst into more of who he really is. Listening to him sound out words in a much different way than his older brother and learn to understand this ridiculously hard English language (can I get an Amen? You just don’t realize how stupid hard this language is until you try to teach a kid to read, geez! And then we move to a town called Pflugerville. For real. Someone should ask me about how we can make this language more humane for kids.) have been really fun experiences. Discovering what he is capable of, and where I have underestimated him has been a sweet, sweet surprise. The kid blows me away.
During the first half of the year he had some difficulties and because our Kinder team in Fort Worth knew that a big change was coming for him, they were very proactive in getting him the support he needed to master some of those more difficult skill sets, and now he is leaps and bounds from that point. I could not be more proud of the effort he puts into his work, and how he really strives to understand all of what’s going on on paper and in the world around him.
Another plus? Having peers influencing him on a daily basis. Now, of course, this can be a negative, but we’ve tried really hard to use the bad examples as teaching moments, explaining how to love people even when they’re not nice to us, discussing how to behave in ways that tell our friends and teachers that we respect them . . . before you start judging me, let me tell you we aren’t always on top of this, and there have been times with both of the boys this year that I wanted to race up to school and smack certain children upside the head. On our best days though, we had great conversations about situations like that. But on the other side of that equation, Josiah saw good things in his friends that he wanted to emulate, and that pushed him to work harder on a lot of things, including tying his shoes, which we finally (Praise be to Jesus and velcro) mastered a few weeks ago thanks to the big brother and maybe a little bit of bribery.
It all boils down to the fact that this kid is now empowered in ways he wasn’t before, and it has been a gift to watch his little mind open up to all of these new thoughts and ideas. I am so thankful that he has had two awesome teachers — I mean, what a lucky kid to get two Kindergarten teachers in one year — and that the trauma that our move invoked in me was not transferred down to him. It’s true: kids are super resilient.
And now, we head into summer and try to forget that there is a fourth and first grader in our house. There will be more snot and tears to come . . . But for now, CHEERS! WE DID IT! IT’S SUMMEEEEEEEEEER!